Gateway Gazette

Update 6: Wood Buffalo wildfire recovery (July 27 at 11 am)

Wildfire recovery efforts continue throughout the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. A state of local emergency remains in effect.

Housing supports:

  • The deadline for applying for the Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation benefit is August 2.
  • Residents who have immediate needs are encouraged to book an appointment with the Canadian Red Cross by calling 1-888-553-5505.
  • A housing assessment survey will be conducted by the Canadian Red Cross on behalf of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Government of Alberta.
  • Residents who have damaged or destroyed homes will be contacted directly to complete the telephone survey.
  • Survey results will help determine the housing needs of the community over the next two to three years.

Environmental monitoring update:

  • Full results and analysis of environmental monitoring in Fort McMurray is online. This includes results for air, water, soil and ash.
  • A final round of soil sampling will be completed in public areas following debris cleanup.
  • Information about managing indoor air quality, including suggestions related to cleaning, filtration and indoor air sampling is online.

Recovery update:

  • Almost all health-care services have returned to full operations.
  • A boil-water advisory remains in effect for Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways and any other municipally connected plumbing systems not mentioned in the boil-water advisory lift areas. Please read the latest advisory from Alberta Health Services.
  • Residents who have not yet recovered abandoned vehicles should take the following steps:
    • Vehicles abandoned south of the Highway 63/881 junction have been towed to Highway 63 Towing & Recovery in Wandering River. Call 1-877-671-2717 to confirm if your vehicle is there and to make arrangements to retrieve it.
    • Vehicles abandoned along Highway 63 (north of 881), along 811 or inside Fort McMurray have been towed to Mobster Towing in Fort McMurray. Call 780-838-9595 to confirm if your vehicle is there and to make arrangements to retrieve it.
    • Owners are encouraged to claim their vehicles in the near future. Unclaimed vehicles will be subject to disposal.
    • For those affected individuals who have reason to believe that your vehicle may be damaged or destroyed, please contact your insurance company.
  • Alberta Parks is offering free camping for evacuees still in need of shelter. This service is available to those who are unable to return to their home and are looking for an alternative place to stay. Please see Alberta Parks for more information.
  • The random camping ban on public land in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has been lifted. Campers are asked to use and enjoy the lands responsibly.
  • Ten agencies are serving as pickup points for Fort McMurray residents who need access to donations. Visit the Alberta Wildfire Donations Centre webpage for more information.
  • The deadline of July 10 has passed for the pickup of wildfire relief funding in the form of a MoneyGram™. Wood Buffalo residents who remain out of province can reapply for debit card relief funding at a designated Alberta Works Centre when they return to Alberta.

Re-entry update:

  • More than 73,000 residents have visited information centres since re-entry began June 1.
  • ATCO has re-lit 93 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
  • More than 48,000 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in Alberta, totalling $96 million. Financial relief for evacuees who left the province has reached more than $3.7 million.
  • Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation (WETA) benefits and income support emergency benefits have helped 6,432 households to date, for a total of $5.9 million.

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