PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A massive wildfire is burning in Alberta, Canada and threatening an entire city. It has destroyed entire neighborhoods, and thousands have been evacuated.
One of those people is a Gilbert man on business in Ft. McMurray. As the monster flames raced closer to his hotel, he found himself making a run for it.
Warm and dry weather with high winds are suspected as fanning the flames that have left some homeless and others trying to desperately get back home.
"It was like a Walking Dead episode, there were animals running out of the brush, it was unbelievable, I've never seen anything like it," said Michael Hagerty.
Hagerty was in Canada on business when an out of control fire started burning several thousand acres across Ft. McMurray and Alberta.
"The fire was jumping across the freeway and came face to face you know with just a wall of fire; it was pretty terrifying you could feel the heat in the car just starting to singe you," he said.
Caught on the freeway during the evacuation he says he's never seen such a sight.
"There was a fellow in front of me on a motorcycle who literally laid the bike down, jumped off his bike and jumped across the meridian to the other side of the street cause it was so hot and intense," said Hagerty.
Because of the volume of the evacuees and the size of the town, Michael says he and others had no choice but to spend the night on the freeway.
"We were forced to sit on the roadway with no food, no water, no blankets, just sitting in the car just trying to wait this thing out," he said.
Even though Hagerty had a less than ideal trip to Canada, he says he is one of the lucky ones as so many have lost so much.
"Close to 400-500 homes were leveled, the hotel was leveled, gas stations, other businesses, a Dodge car dealership, just complete devastation in the city right now," said Hagerty.
Hagerty finally made it out of the area to Vancouver where he is looking for another flight to come back home. Canada's Prime Minister has said the best way for those to help out is to donate to the Canadian Red Cross.