Wood Buffalo wildfire recovery (Jun 15)

Wood Buffalo wildfire recovery (Jun 15)
Recovery efforts are well underway two weeks after the start of voluntary re-entry into wildfire-affected communities in Wood Buffalo.Photo: The Canadian Press / Jonathan Hayward.

Recovery efforts are well underway two weeks after the start of voluntary re-entry into wildfire-affected communities in Wood Buffalo.

“Recovering from a disaster is no small task, but Fort McMurray residents are incredibly strong and resilient. They have shown tremendous strength in the face of this adversity and our government will continue to stand with them as they resettle and recover. We have seen a great deal of progress in the past few weeks, with many residents returning to Fort McMurray and while there is a great deal of work ahead, I am confident that together we will rebuild our communities and make them home again.” – Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs

Current fire situation

  • The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire is estimated to cover 589,617 hectares and is being held.
  • There are 14 active wildfires in Alberta, with none listed as out of control.
  • There are approximately 1,692 firefighters and support staff, 59 helicopters and 16 tankers battling fires across the province.

Re-entry update

  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, approximately 56,000 people have visited information centres.
  • Information for residents returning to the Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo is available at the Future Forward Building (9717 Franklin Avenue; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by calling 310-4455 (1-844-406-3276 out of province).
  • A total of 44,910 wildfire relief debit cards were distributed in province, supporting nearly 88,000 people and totalling more than $91 million. Out-of-province financial relief has reached just over $3 million.
  • Wildfire relief funding debit cards are available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave; 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • During the 17 telephone town halls, 161,426 individuals participated online or over the phone. (Individuals who participated in multiple calls were counted as a participant each time.)
  • More than 62,788 residents have registered with the Canadian Red Cross.
  • The Canadian Red Cross currently has an office in Fort McMurray at 9816 Hardin Street. Office hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Recovery update

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) has lifted the air-quality advisory issued on May 2 for the Fort McMurray area. It is now safe for most residents to return, including children under age seven, with the exception of people who require dialysis or are receiving cancer treatments or are more than 36 weeks pregnant or have complications of pregnancy.
  • A boil-water advisory remains in effect for all areas of Fort McMurray other than the Lower Townsite and Grayling Terrace.
  • A donation strategy is in place to ensure the co-ordinated collection and distribution of donations for residents in Wood Buffalo. Albertans who want to donate items can call 310-4455 for instructions.
  • ATCO has re-lit approximately 82 per cent of buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
  • The Provincial Building reopened on June 13 with many services restored. Some services may still be affected by staffing limitations; please contact specific offices for details before visiting.
  • Provincial Court will re-open on Monday, June 20.
  • The Oil Sands Discovery Centre will reopen on Friday, July 1.
  • As of today, the Fort McMurray International Airport is fully operational.
  • All core health services are available in Fort McMurray, with the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre expected to be fully operational on June 21.
  • Any organizations wishing to offer their services to recovery should register with the RMWB or by contacting logistics@rmwb.ca.
  • Businesses and employees are reminded to ensure that Occupational Health and Safety rules are in place and are followed to avoid injuries and incidents.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are available online.
  • RCMP are seeking assistance in the Fort McMurray wildfire investigation.

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