The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released a map illustrating zones that have been established for the conditional, voluntary re-entry of Fort McMurray evacuees.
In the latest update from the municipality on May 21st, important information was reiterated about the phased re-entry plans set to begin June 1st.
There are five specific conditions that must be met in order for residents to safely return to Fort McMurray:
1) Wildfire no longer poses an imminent threat to the area
2) Critical infrastructure is repaired and restored to support essential services at basic levels
3) Essential community services are restored to basic operations, including:
- Emergency services (Fire, EMS, Police, 911)
- Safe transportation to and within the community, including traffic controls
- Access to emergency medical care and patient transport
- Access to potable water, electricity and gas
- Access to food, pharmaceuticals, banks, and other necessary services
- Access to mental health supports
4) Hazardous areas – those affected by the wildfires – are secured so as not to pose any health or safety risks
5) The working re-establishment of municipal government
Essential services personnel including medical staff, utility workers and retail owners are working steadily in Fort McMurray to ensure that those goals are satisfactorily achieved.
The provincial government advises any residents driving back into the city to bring with them at least a week’s worth of basic necessities, including food, water and prescription medications. Other supplies such as flashlights, batteries and extra clothing are also recommended.
A tentative schedule for the phased re-entry of evacuees, according to designated zones, is as follows:
- Zone 1: Lower Townsite, Anzac, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, and Gregoire Lake Estates (June 1st)
- Zone 2: Parsons Creek, Stone Creek, Timberlea, Eagle Ridge, and Dickinsfield (June 2nd)
- Zone 3: Thickwood and Wood Buffalo (June 3rd)
- Zone 4(a): Gregoire, Prairie Creek, and Saprae Creek Estates (June 3rd)
- Zone 4(b): Waterways, Abasand, Beacon Hill, Grayling Terrace, and Draper (June 4th)