This release was issued under a previous government.
The Alberta government will initiate an independent review of the emergency response to the Fort McMurray wildfire. The review will examine the provincial support provided to the municipality, the evacuation of communities, and the emergency social services for evacuees to determine what went well and where there are areas of improvement.
“In May the people of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo were forced to leave their homes behind in the biggest evacuation in Alberta history. In the face of the fire's unprecedented extreme behaviour, our first responders and emergency teams performed with incredible courage and skill, successfully evacuating nearly 90,000 people in just a few hours and saving the vast majority of homes and businesses. It is tremendously important that there is an independent review of the response to this disaster so that the lessons learned will ensure our emergency response system can be even stronger in the future.”
“We thank the Alberta Government for taking an open and responsible approach in its review of the actions taken in response to the biggest crisis in our region’s history. As we continue the road to recovery together as a community in collaboration with our provincial partners, we are reminded every day of the resiliency and resolve of our first responders who worked tirelessly to save our community and keep our families safe. We look forward to contributing to this important process that will play a role in making our community even stronger for our children.”
The May wildfire marks the third major disaster in Alberta in the last five years. The reports from the 2011 Slave Lake fire and the 2013 southern Alberta floods are posted publicly on the Alberta government website.
A request for proposals has been issued to select an appropriate contractor to conduct the review into the fire in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The report is expected to be complete next summer.
This review is separate from the review Agriculture and Forestry announced in June that will examine the wildfire preparation, readiness and response to the 2016 fire.