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Concerns Arising From Residents Over Certain Firebreak Rehabilitation

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Concerns Arising From Residents Over Certain Firebreak Rehabilitation

Keith Janzen speaking to mayor and council // Jaryn Vecchio - Harvard Broadcasting

One neighbourhood’s petition is being rejected by the municipality.

Over 30 residents living on Killdeer Way and Killdeer Place were asking for a revision of the firebreak rehabilitation happening in their backyards.

On Tuesday, Administration told Wood Buffalo Council the petition isn’t sufficient enough to warrant any change as they would need around 10 per cent of Fort McMurray’s population to sign before it could be considered.

The only resident who spoke directly to council was Keith Janzen. He tells Mix News their biggest concern is the lack of privacy the project is leaving them.

“We have the links trails right behind – when we had trees we would see the odd head go past now you see a hundred people a day in the summertime going through your backyard.”

Janzen says his biggest issue is the way the Recovery Task Force has handled their problem.

“I was told if I want privacy, plant trees in my own yard and bring the fire source closer to my house.”

He adds many of the properties are also facing erosion problems and water pooling at the back of their yards.

Councillor Mike Allen says he’s also heard from other residents who share the same concerns about their neighbourhoods.

Trees Scheduled To Be Planted

The 38 residents who signed the petition will get their privacy but will have to wait until next year.

Operations Manager of the Recovery Task Force Erin O’Neill says they will be planting trees 30m being each property.

“It’s a great step, we’ve heard so many stories – we’re going to plant a couple of trees behind the benches, we’re not going to plant any trees.”

The Task Force is also planning to meet face to face with the residents and go over the exact plans being done to rehabilitate the area.

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