Gateway Gazette

Update 3: Wood Buffalo wildfire recovery (June 22 at 2:30 pm)

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

Re-entry update

  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, nearly 62,000 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 from out of province).
  • A total of 45,885 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in Alberta, supporting more than 89,000 people and totalling $92.8 million. Out-of-province financial relief has reached $3.6 million.
    • Wildfire relief funding debit cards are available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave; Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation (WETA) Benefit has supported 3,806 households to date and totals just over $3.3 million.
  • Calls to date to 310-4455 total 75,247.
  • The Canadian Red Cross 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 Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is again able to provide full comprehensive health-care services. This includes ambulatory-care services such as endoscopy and exercise stress testing.
    • Dialysis services have resumed.
    • Several long-term care patients evacuated from the hospital on May 3 will return on Thursday, June 23.
    • Timeline for reopening the Cancer Care clinic is not yet known. Residents requiring cancer treatments should call the Alberta Cancer Line at 1-888-432-8865 for more information.
  • 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.
  • White goods, such as fridges and freezers, continue to be collected and disposed of. To date, 9,690 items have been picked up.
  • Team Rubicon has completed 701 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 88 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
  • The Provincial Building has reopened with many services restored. Some services may still be affected by staffing limitations; please contact specific offices for details before visiting.
  • The Provincial Court reopened on Monday, June 20.
  • The Oil Sands Discovery Centre will reopen on Friday, July 1.
  • The Fort McMurray International Airport is fully operational.
  • The following Alberta Parks are open to public use: Anzac Day Use Area, South Shore Boat Launch, Hangingstone, Maqua Lake and Engstrom Lake recreation areas.
    • Gregoire Lake campground and day use remains closed at this time due to damage and safety concerns.
  • Residents who have not yet retrieved vehicles that were abandoned during evacuations should collect them as soon as possible. Contact 780-788-4200 for an appointment. Location of where the car was abandoned, plate number and proof of ownership will be required.
  • The Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo has opened the Back to Business Resource Centre: a one-stop shop for businesses to access government, business planning and office resources assisting with their return to operations. More information is available here.
  • 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.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply