Wednesday 4 May 2016

Raging fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta: look for the helpers

UPDATES: Despite the fire increasing in size, they are moving people away, relocating them farther away, especially to Edmonton. This city has opened up its heart to these traumatized refugess. Even some Syrian refugees have been helping fire victims. I'm looking for the helpers and the heroes.
The Red Cross has been given $44 million for this crisis. The fed will match this amount.

Sadly, there is no power, gas, water or hydro, in the fire zones. Stores are not open. There is no infrastructure in place. The fire is still out of control. It will be days until they evaluate the situation, and make the city safe again.

I really appreciated the comforting words of Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta. "We have your backs."
Many have been evacuated to the nearest city, Edmonton. Kids are being welcomed into schools, which is a very positive move. It's some sense of normalcy for them. All evacuees have found temporary shelter, and supplies are being flown into the area.

#ymmfire has created superheros out of the operators behind @RMWoodBuffalo
— TorontoStar (@TorontoStar) May 7, 2016

CAF members fly a CH-146 Griffon to view the damage created by wild fires. #FortMcMurray #ymmfire #FortMacFire
— Canadian Forces (@CanadianForces) May 6, 2016

Social Media has been fabulous for all affected.

Refugees are Canadian Human Capital
This is why we welcome them to Canada

Look for heroes

I've been following the devastating fires in Alberta. The news can be depressing. I am searching for the good stories within this terrible ongoing event.

Our Canadian news is filled with horrific scenes of totally burned out communities. People have fled with little and/or a suitcase. The good news is that, so far, no one has died or been seriously hurt. They've got a fair number of fires in B.C., the province next door, but Ontario is sending some firefighters.

The problem is in the geography of this place. Fort McMurray had one highway going through (#63), running north to south. North of the town are mining camps, as well as other businesses. Suncor and Syncrude have had to shut down due to evacuations.

People in these camps to the north have been told not to go south.

So far, 88,000 have been evacuated.

Alberta Government@YourAlberta
Information for Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees will be posted here and will updated regularly. #ymmfire #ymm
They say that 10,000 people evacuated to the north to the camps, while those in the south are going farther south.

Hotels to the south have taken in refugees, and citizens are offered empty homes.

They've run out of gas for 200km along autoroute 63.

Some have managed to take pets, others have been told to register with the SPCA who will try to take care of them.

The Red Cross is taking financial donations for food and water. They don't have the resources to take goods, at this point. They are looking for donation at

Red Cross Alberta is registering those who have been displaced so that worried family members can find good news.

The Feds have agreed to send military helicopters, as well as personnel, who are on their way.
There are 250 firefighters there and 300 RCMP on their way to assist.
It's not been controlled yet.
View on twitter

View on Twitter

The Weather Network has collected some tweets.


Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
As an Aussie, I fully appreciate the distress of such events... keeping some prayers up for early relief... YAM xx

sandy said...

wow, that is quite a fire. I've been out of town for a week and hadn't kept up with any news.

Red said...

You've got it on this one.It's unbelievable. A couple of teenagers I know well were worried about their Dad who works in MacMurray. He had phoned and was trying to get out. He ended up joining a friend. they were on the road with half a tank of gas and a dying cell battery. The kids were obviously concerned about their Dad.

Powell River Books said...

This is so terrible, and it's only May. - Margy

DUTA said...

I have a blogfollower from Ottawa. Fort McMurray is her home town, and she feels devastated. So far, no human casualties, thank God, but as I understand an entire town has been destroyed by the fire. How terrible! It's probably an isolated place and it takes time for firefighters to reach it.

DeniseinVA said...

I have heard about these awful fires and how thousands have been evacuated. The goodness in people really shines at times like these.

Anvilcloud said...

It is quite an event: amazing how quickly it spread. It's also amazing how calmly people proceeded in their evacuation and how they worked to help each other in many cases.

Kay L. Davies said...

Good coverage, Jenn.
Of course the evacuee I know best is my husband, who was in Fort Mac on business. He was originally slated to go to Anzac, a tiny town whose population, including evacuees, has been sent to other places as the fire spreads.
Last I heard, he didn't have any news about his car, which was left in Fort Mac, or his ETA home, but he is staying in touch. Right now he's getting ready to be interviewed by our local radio station here in southeastern Alberta, and I'm trying to decide whether to keep my rehab appointment in Medicine Hat today. Lindy's wading pool is "just right" so she will have a way to keep cool if the forecast for 25C proves to be short of the mark.

William Kendall said...

It's ferocious, all the footage I've seen thus far.