Update 2: Wood Buffalo wildfire recovery (June 17 at 1:30 pm)

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

Current fire situation

  • The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire is estimated to cover 589,552 hectares and is being held.
  • There are 15 active wildfires in Alberta. None is out of control.
  • There are approximately 1,121 firefighters, 55 helicopters, 16 air tankers and 54 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires and on standby across the province.
  • The Provincial Operations Centre’s status was dropped to Level 2 as of 4 p.m. on June 15. Co-ordination of Government of Alberta recovery efforts has now transitioned to the Wildfire Recovery Task Force.

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 45,437 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in the province, supporting more than 88,500 people and totalling more than $92 million. Financial relief for residents who evacuated out-of-province 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.).
  • Total calls to date to 310-4455 number 73,513.
  • Nearly 63,000 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 p.m.

Recovery update

  • The boil-water advisory has been lifted in the following areas in: Lower Townsite, Grayling Terrace, Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Stone Creek and Parsons Creek North of Fort McMurray. The advisory remains in effect for all other areas. Please visit the AHS wildfire resources page for more information.
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) 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.
  • White goods, such as fridges and freezers, continue to be collected and disposed of. To date, 8,726 items have been picked up.
  • Team Rubicon has completed 311 residential site visits and sifting operations to date.
  • 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 85 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 reopen on Monday, June 20.
  • The Oil Sands Discovery Centre will reopen on Friday, July 1.
  • 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 contact 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.