At a news conference at noon today, Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee updated the province of firefighting efforts and information for evacuees.
Larivee says despite headway being made by firefighters there are still hotspots, including a flare up on MacDonald Island and near Anzac. She emphasized it’s not safe yet to return to the area.
Larivee says armed forces personnel helped last week with the evacuation of residents, provided supplies to isolated First Nations communities, and assisted with the transportation of essential equipment and fire fighting personnel.
The Minister says that even though the weather has been cooler, the risks remain high.
Larivee says the government handed out about $7 million dollars in debit cards for displaced residents to help meet immediate short term needs of evacuees.
A second location for evacuees to pick up their cards has been opened at NAIT in the north lobby from 2 to 8 p.m. although the government is still asking those who are financially able to, to hold off on picking up their cards to allow those in dire need time to get theirs.
Larivee says a number of things need to happen before residents can return to their homes.
She says the danger of wildfire interfacing with the community has passed, essential services need to be restored, and a clean, working hospital has to be ensured for the population.
She says the good news is that there are already a lot of people already working in the community to make it safe.