The past 36 hours for Fort McMurray residents has been heart wrenching. On Tuesday, a mandatory evacuation order was issued as a wildfire tore through the city.
Surprisingly, considering the large magnitude of the wildfire, no injuries or casualties have been reported. Houses and businesses however haven’t been so lucky and in some communities of up to 80% of infrastructure has been destroyed.
Yesterday, the provincial government issued a release declaring a provincial state of emergency. They also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Forces to get help with air transportation as needed.
More than 250 fire fighters, helicopters, and air tankers are battling the fire. 29 Calgary firefighters headed to Fort McMurray last night. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have both declared a State of Local Emergency.
An immediate and mandatory evacuation has been called for Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nations and the High Level area. A critical alert requesting the immediate evacuation of Lac Ste. Anne County residents as also been issued.
The smoke as Fort McMurray burns is visible from space; close-up at right. I hope all 90,000 folks are safe. (NASA) pic.twitter.com/MH5LOoyJgv
— Chris Hadfield (@Cmdr_Hadfield) May 5, 2016
TELUS is supporting a text-to-donate campaign with the Red Cross. TELUS customers can text 45678 to make a $10 donation to the Red Cross’ relief efforts. They will also be extending free calling and texting service in the area through May 17 and free calls from TELUS payphones to anywhere in Canada.