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Update: Rebuild Numbers, Wildfire Recovery Moving Forward

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Update: Rebuild Numbers, Wildfire Recovery Moving Forward

Construction in Wood Buffalo, Spring 2017 // Harvard Broadcasting Reporter Jaryn Vecchio

Although still a few years away from being finished, the number of rebuilds and the community’s recovery is coming along.

Nearly 50 per cent of the properties destroyed are either finished or ready to pour foundations with over 33 per cent of rebuilds nearly finished, and 10 per cent already having their final inspections.

Those numbers were presented to council on Tuesday at their first meeting since October’s municipal election.

Mayor Don Scott tells Mix News the numbers are nice but there is still a lot of work ahead.

“I know there are a lot of people needing a lot of help, some of them are going to their insurance companies, some of them are talking about various issues they’re struggling with, so even though we’re making progress – there’s still a lot of progress still to be made.”

During a presentation from Fire Chief Jody Butz, he mentioned that Regional Emergency Services is still cracking away at the 67 action points they developed from the 14 recommendations from the KPMG report on the Horse River wildfire, back in July.

Butz says it will take a few years before every action is complete.

“Ths isn’t something that we can just check off, this is something that’s going to take a few years. I think in three, four, five years from now it’s my hope that we can look back and reflect on it and really say we actually went through a bit of a cultural change in regards to emergency management.”

He notes these action points aren’t reflecting on the past but making sure the region is prepared for another potential natural disaster.

“To think that it won’t ever happen to us again would be naive.”

Butz added every chapter of the RMWB’s Municipal Emergency Management Plan is being revised and will be finished by May 2018.

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