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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 11 May 2016

NB! For WEEKLY audio stories check out LISTEN & LEARN 🔈

2,400 Homes Burn in Canadian Wildfire

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • flee: to run away from something dangerous
  • mandatory: required
  • evacuation: the mass exit from a place due to danger
  • rip through: to go through quickly and fiercely
  • hectare: a metric unit that measures area
  • Saskatchewan: a prairie province in Canada (between Alberta and Manitoba)
  • border: a provincial boundary

2,400 Homes Burn in Canadian Wildfire

A wildfire ripped through Fort McMurray, Alberta last week, in a mandatory evacuation of over 80,000 residents. The forest fire spread so quickly that most residents didn’t have time to do more than jump in their and flee the smoke and flames. According to early damage reports, the fire has over 2,400 homes, including almost all of the homes in a few communities. In the past week, firefighters have been able to save 25,000 structures, including many businesses and all of the city’s schools and hospitals. The wildfire is still and has spread over 229 hectares. weather and calmer winds have prevented the fire from reaching the Saskatchewan border.

Comprehension Questions

  1. Why did Fort McMurray have a mandatory evacuation last week?
  2. Which structures did firefighters save?
  3. Why does the report mention Saskatchewan?

Discussion Questions: Last week’s weather in northern Alberta’s oil sands region was unseasonably high and dry for this time of year, and many environmentalists are blaming this fire on global warming. What other recent natural disasters and extreme weather can be connected to global warming?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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