Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is a large area of land in the northeast corner of Alberta. Wood Buffalo is 68,454 sq km or 10% of Alberta's total area. Fort McMurray is a city located
within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
Fort McMurray is located where the Athabasca and Clearwater Rivers join. The elevation ranges from 250 to 370 meters (830 to 1,210 feet) above sea level. The area is generally covered by boreal forest and has a plant hardiness rating of zone 1a (meaning no agriculture is generally possible here).
Fort McMurray was originally settled in the river valley, and the community has grown upwards and outwards in recent years with new residential subdivisions and industrial parks being developed.
Wood Buffalo is a northern community.
The climate is cold and dry in winter. Average snow depth is around 20 cm from December to March, and the temperature is around -20 degrees Celsius on average. Temperatures went as low as -50 in 1947 and are below -30 for abour 10 days per month in winter. In summer, average temperatures are around 15 degress (June, July and August). High temperatures are often over 20 but rarely as high as 30 degrees. See Environment Canada for more weather history, or for today's weather.
Wood Buffalo is in the Mountain Time Zone along with the rest of Alberta. Days are long in summer and short in winter. At summer solstice, the sun rises at 4:33 a.m. and sets at 10:22 p.m. But at winter solstice on the shortest day of the year, the sun only rises at 9 a.m. and sets at 3:47 p.m. Daylight hours in Fort McMurray ranges from 17.8 hours in the summer to 6.8 hours in the winter.
Highway 63 is the main
connecting the area to
the rest of the province. For road condition information and dririving directions, see About Wood Buffalo or visit the Alberta Motor Association. Winter road information for Fort Chipewayan, Fort Smith and La Loche contact the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo or call the winter road hotline at 1-866-743-6111 or 780-697-3600 during business hours 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For information on the Fort Smith Winter Road please call Parks Canada at 867-872-7962.
Alberta Environment and the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association provide air quality index information.