Scott Long who is the Executive director of the Provincial Operations Centre of the Alberta Emergency Management agency, said that the Fort McMurray wildfire is nearly 523,000 hectares in size at this time. The fire is still classified as out of control. The weather today did not help as the winds were going in different directions. While much of the province got snow, only 5 mm of rain occurred at the southern end of the fire. There is 170 km of cat guard and fire-breaks around the fire. There are 1260 fire-fighters, 55 helicopters, 186 pieces of heavy equipment, continuous air support, and 1000 more fire-fighters are coming over the next 2 weeks. 280 from south Africa are coming as early as this weekend.
As questions came in, these notes were taken from the Town-Hall this evening.
-Highways will be open on June 1st when residents to go back.
-Postal service is in progress of being reactivated. It may not be activated as soon as June 1st. No date yet.
-Alberta works has additional funding as well as red cross if you are placed under a detrimental financial situation.
-Tools/materials for livelihood will be replaced by Red Cross. The number to call is 1-888-350-6070.
-There will be additional support from the government for interim living expenses. Contact 310-4455 to speak with someone regarding this. Also fill out an application at emergency.alberta.ca. Red Cross also has additional support, call 1-888-350-6070.
-Family members of residents are allowed to go back even if they don’t live there once the voluntary return begins with the understanding that there are risks.
-The Northern most aspect of the fire is 60km away from the firebag aerodrome.
“There have not been that many complaints of looting or criminal activity and one person was arrested” – Fort Mcurray RCMP.
-Fire damage will vary a lot from place to place in Fort McMurray.
-Transit will not be operational on the first phase of re-entry. In the second phase they will be working on the transit operations and moving forward from there. There will be no full bus schedule upon first phase of re-entry. – Municipal affairs
-There will be no formal classes for the duration of this school year. Classes will begin again in September.
-Everyone no matter when they enter will have access to the same services. It is a voluntary return.
-No cut off for debit cards.
– Taylor Rey