While a firm re-entry strategy is still being developed by the Alberta government and the RMWB, some conditions have been outlined for residents.
First and foremost, the imminent threat of fire to the community must be eliminated. Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s last update has the fire remaining out of control at a size of 251,000 hectares, though R.E.S. Fire Chief Darby Allen said last week that he believed the fire was “beaten” in Fort McMurray. Spot fires continue to pop up, but crews continue to protect structures in the city.
The province adds that critical infrastructure like power, gas, and water must be restored to basic service levels. Three hundred ATCO workers are in the city repairing power and gas lines, while RMWB crews are ensuring the integrity of the water distribution system. EMS, health care, and police services must also be restored to basic service.
Hazardous areas must also be secured. A fleet of 100 trucks is working to bring enough fencing up to the region to block off these areas from the public.
Finally, the local government must be re-established, according to the province. Council met last Tuesday in a special meeting, addressing the need to review the capital projects budget in light of the fire.
Government officials are meeting with the RMWB today to brief them on a draft of the re-entry plan, with a timeline expected to be released sometime next week.