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Wildfire anniversary: Statement from Mayor Melissa Blake

The Government of Alberta has issued the following statement on behalf of Melissa Blake, Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo:

“Today, as we mark the anniversary of the evacuation of Fort McMurray, we pause to reflect on the remarkable experiences of the past year.

“On behalf of regional council and all residents, I thank all the first responders who worked tirelessly to evacuate us safely and then stayed behind to ensure that we had a community to which we could return. To all the volunteers, community partners, governments and stakeholders who provided every type of assistance imaginable, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To all the Canadians from coast to coast to coast who opened their hearts and homes to us, we will forever be in your debt. During the darkest time in our history, these overwhelming acts of kindness and compassion sustained us.

“I would like to take this opportunity to recognize the incredible strength and spirit of our residents. Throughout all the challenges of the last year, this community has come together to support each other every step of the way. Time and again, we’ve seen firsthand that we are in this together.

“While we are making solid progress in the rebuild and recovery, many of us are still managing the direct impacts of the Horse River fire. As we recognize that recovery takes time and affects everyone differently, local resources are available to support the health and well-being of the people of our community. For more information, please visit

“Once again, we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who reached out with assistance during those difficult days - and throughout the last year. We could not have made it this far without the tremendous outpouring of support. We are filled with a deep gratitude for all the help we’ve received and look forward to continued support as we work towards a full recovery.”

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