This release was issued under a previous government.

Housing supports:

  • The deadline for applying for the Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation benefit is August 2.
  • Residents who have immediate needs are encouraged to book an appointment with the Canadian Red Cross by calling 1-888-553-5505.
  • A housing assessment survey will be conducted by the Canadian Red Cross on behalf of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Government of Alberta.
  • Residents who have damaged or destroyed homes will be contacted directly to complete the telephone survey.
  • Survey results will help determine the housing needs of the community over the next two to three years.

Environmental monitoring update:

  • Full results and analysis of environmental monitoring in Fort McMurray is online. This includes results for air, water, soil and ash.
  • A final round of soil sampling will be completed in public areas following debris cleanup.
  • Information about managing indoor air quality, including suggestions related to cleaning, filtration and indoor air sampling is online.

Recovery update:

  • Almost all health-care services have returned to full operations.
  • A boil-water advisory remains in effect for Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways and any other municipally connected plumbing systems not mentioned in the boil-water advisory lift areas. Please read the latest advisory from Alberta Health Services.
  • Residents who have not yet recovered abandoned vehicles should take the following steps:
    • Vehicles abandoned south of the Highway 63/881 junction have been towed to Highway 63 Towing & Recovery in Wandering River. Call 1-877-671-2717 to confirm if your vehicle is there and to make arrangements to retrieve it.
    • Vehicles abandoned along Highway 63 (north of 881), along 811 or inside Fort McMurray have been towed to Mobster Towing in Fort McMurray. Call 780-838-9595 to confirm if your vehicle is there and to make arrangements to retrieve it.
    • Owners are encouraged to claim their vehicles in the near future. Unclaimed vehicles will be subject to disposal.
    • For those affected individuals who have reason to believe that your vehicle may be damaged or destroyed, please contact your insurance company.
  • Alberta Parks is offering free camping for evacuees still in need of shelter. This service is available to those who are unable to return to their home and are looking for an alternative place to stay. Please see Alberta Parks for more information.
  • The random camping ban on public land in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has been lifted. Campers are asked to use and enjoy the lands responsibly.
  • Ten agencies are serving as pickup points for Fort McMurray residents who need access to donations. Visit the Alberta Wildfire Donations Centre webpage for more information.
  • The deadline of July 10 has passed for the pickup of wildfire relief funding in the form of a MoneyGram™. Wood Buffalo residents who remain out of province can reapply for debit card relief funding at a designated Alberta Works Centre when they return to Alberta.

Re-entry update:

  • More than 73,000 residents have visited information centres since re-entry began June 1.
  • ATCO has re-lit 93 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
  • More than 48,000 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in Alberta, totalling $96 million. Financial relief for evacuees who left the province has reached more than $3.7 million.
  • Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation (WETA) benefits and income support emergency benefits have helped 6,432 households to date, for a total of $5.9 million. 

Backgrounder

Previous updates

Update 5: July 11 at 2 pm

  • The regional municipality has released a demolition permit application package for residents looking to begin the demolition process.
  • A second round of tackifier was applied following sifting. This second application of tackifier is brown in colour. It is an environmentally safe, non-toxic compound that is commonly used in landfills.
  • The province has amended regulations under the New Home Buyer Protection Act and the Safety Codes Act to support and protect Wood Buffalo residents as they rebuild their homes.
  • Government is working with child-care providers to help get their programs operational as quickly as possible once operators re-enter the community. Families who need child care should contact their providers to see when their programs will be available. The regional municipality has also compiled a list of child-care organizations and their opening dates.
  • Government is extending the deferral of repayment and interest-free period for student loan borrowers affected by the fire to March 1, 2017.
    • Student Aid Alberta will contact eligible student loan borrowers this July to make sure they are aware that the deferral is in place. The repayment and interest-free period extension is for Alberta student loans only.
  • Healthcare services have largely returned to normal. Please see the Alberta Health Services Wildfire Information webpage for the most up-to-date information.
  • A boil-water advisory remains in effect for: Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways, Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nations (Gregoire Lake Reserve) truckfill, Anzac truckfill and community hall, and any other municipally connected plumbing systems not mentioned in the boil-water advisory lift areas. Please read the latest advisory from Alberta Health Services.
  • Ten agencies are serving as pickup points for Fort McMurray residents who need access to donations. Visit the Alberta Wildfire Donations Centre webpage for more information.
  • ATCO has re-lit 92 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas, with approximately 1,600 remaining.

Update 4: June 30 at 3 pm

  • Many municipal, provincial and non-government organization services will be closed on Friday, July 1 for Canada Day. Residents are encouraged to contact individual offices to confirm hours.
  • Government is working with child-care providers to help get their programs operational as quickly as possible once operators re-enter the community. Families who need child care should contact their providers to see when their programs will be operational.
  • Healthcare services are returning to normal operations.
    • Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is providing full comprehensive health care services
    • The temporary Fort McMurray Medical Centre at the Keyano Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre closed Tuesday, June 28.
    • Most local doctor’s offices – including the Wood Buffalo PCN – are now open in Fort McMurray. Residents are encouraged to contact their family physician for routine healthcare needs.
    • A phased re-opening of the Fort McMurray Cancer Centre will begin July 11. More information will be shared in the coming days. For any questions or concerns, call Alberta Cancer Line at 1-888-432-8865.
  • The boil-water advisory remains in effect for: Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways, Gregoire Lake Provincial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates, Gregoire Lake First Nations truckfill, Anzac truckfill and community hall, and any other municipally connected plumbing systems not mentioned in the boil water advisory lift areas. Please read the latest advisory from Alberta Health Services.
  • The province has amended regulations under the New Home Buyer Protection Act and the Safety Codes Act to support and protect Wood Buffalo residents as they rebuild their homes.
  • A donation strategy is in place to ensure the co-ordinated collection and distribution of donations for residents in Wood Buffalo. Albertans who want to donate items can call 310-4455 for instructions.
  • Volunteers are needed to help receive and sort items at the Alberta Wildfire Donation Centre in Edmonton. Volunteers must register online before volunteering.
  • ATCO has re-lit approximately 91 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas, with less than 2,000 remaining.
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has opened the Back to Business Resource Centre: a one-stop shop for businesses to access government, business planning and office resources assisting with their return to operations. More information is available here.

Update 3: June 22 at 2:30 pm

  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, nearly 62,000 people have visited information centres.
  • Information for residents returning to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is available at the Future Forward Building (9717 Franklin Avenue; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by calling 310-4455 (1-844-406-3276 from out of province).
  • A total of 45,885 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in Alberta, supporting more than 89,000 people and totalling $92.8 million. Out-of-province financial relief has reached $3.6 million.
  • Wildfire relief funding debit cards are available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave; Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • Wildfire Emergency Temporary Accommodation (WETA) Benefit has supported 3,806 households to date and totals just over $3.3 million.
  • Calls to date to 310-4455 total 75,247.
  • The Canadian Red Cross has an office in Fort McMurray at 9816 Hardin Street. Office hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre is again able to provide full comprehensive health-care services. This includes ambulatory-care services such as endoscopy and exercise stress testing.
    • Dialysis services have resumed.
    • Several long-term care patients evacuated from the hospital on May 3 will return on Thursday, June 23.
    • Timeline for reopening the Cancer Care clinic is not yet known. Residents requiring cancer treatments should call the Alberta Cancer Line at 1-888-432-8865 for more information.
  • The boil-water advisory has been lifted in the following areas in: Lower Townsite, Grayling Terrace, Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Stone Creek and Parsons Creek North of Fort McMurray. The advisory remains in effect for all other areas. Please visit the AHS wildfire resources page for more information.
  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) lifted the air-quality advisory issued on May 2 for the Fort McMurray area.
  • White goods, such as fridges and freezers, continue to be collected and disposed of. To date, 9,690 items have been picked up.
  • Team Rubicon has completed 701 residential site visits and sifting operations to date.
  • A donation strategy is in place to ensure the co-ordinated collection and distribution of donations for residents in Wood Buffalo. Albertans who want to donate items can call 310-4455 for instructions.
  • ATCO has re-lit approximately 88 per cent of eligible buildings in Fort McMurray and surrounding areas.
  • The Provincial Building has reopened with many services restored. Some services may still be affected by staffing limitations; please contact specific offices for details before visiting.
  • The Provincial Court reopened on Monday, June 20.
  • The Oil Sands Discovery Centre will reopen on Friday, July 1.
  • The Fort McMurray International Airport is fully operational.
  • The following Alberta Parks are open to public use: Anzac Day Use Area, South Shore Boat Launch, Hangingstone, Maqua Lake and Engstrom Lake recreation areas.
  • Gregoire Lake campground and day use remains closed at this time due to damage and safety concerns.
  • Residents who have not yet retrieved vehicles that were abandoned during evacuations should collect them as soon as possible. Contact 780-788-4200 for an appointment. Location of where the car was abandoned, plate number and proof of ownership will be required.
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has opened the Back to Business Resource Centre: a one-stop shop for businesses to access government, business planning and office resources assisting with their return to operations. More information is available here.
  • Any organizations wishing to offer their services to recovery should register with the RMWB or contact logistics@rmwb.ca.
  • Businesses and employees are reminded to ensure that Occupational Health and Safety rules are in place and are followed to avoid injuries and incidents
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are available online.
  • RCMP are seeking assistance in the Fort McMurray wildfire investigation.

Update 2: June 17 at 1:30 pm

  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire is estimated to cover 589,552 hectares and is being held.
  • There are 15 active wildfires in Alberta. None is out of control.
  • There are approximately 1,121 firefighters, 55 helicopters, 16 air tankers and 54 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires and on standby across the province.
  • The Provincial Operations Centre’s status was dropped to Level 2 as of 4 p.m. on June 15. Co-ordination of Government of Alberta recovery efforts has now transitioned to the Wildfire Recovery Task Force.
  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, approximately 56,000 people have visited information centres.
  • Information for residents returning to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is available at the Future Forward Building (9717 Franklin Avenue; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by calling 310-4455 (1-844-406-3276 out of province).
  • A total of 45,437 wildfire relief debit cards have been distributed in the province, supporting more than 88,500 people and totalling more than $92 million. Financial relief for residents who evacuated out-of-province has reached just over $3 million.
  • Wildfire relief funding debit cards are available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave; 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • Total calls to date to 310-4455 number 73,513.
  • Nearly 63,000 residents have registered with the Canadian Red Cross.
  • The Canadian Red Cross currently has an office in Fort McMurray at 9816 Hardin Street. Office hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Update 1: June 15 at 1 pm

  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire is estimated to cover 589,617 hectares and is being held.
  • There are 14 active wildfires in Alberta, with none listed as out of control.
  • There are approximately 1,692 firefighters and support staff, 59 helicopters and 16 tankers battling fires across the province.
  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, approximately 56,000 people have visited information centres.
  • Information for residents returning to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is available at the Future Forward Building (9717 Franklin Avenue; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or by calling 310-4455 (1-844-406-3276 out of province).
  • A total of 44,910 wildfire relief debit cards were distributed in province, supporting nearly 88,000 people and totalling more than $91 million. Out-of-province financial relief has reached just over $3 million.
  • Wildfire relief funding debit cards are available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave; 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).
  • During the 17 telephone town halls, 161,426 individuals participated online or over the phone. (Individuals who participated in multiple calls were counted as a participant each time.)
  • More than 62,788 residents have registered with the Canadian Red Cross.
  • The Canadian Red Cross currently has an office in Fort McMurray at 9816 Hardin Street. Office hours are Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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