Premier Rachel Notley delivered an address to the province regarding the expanding wildfire that is threatening Fort McMurray. The premier says that she understands that this is a frightening time for everyone on the scene.
“I know that it’s a very scary time, I know it’s a very very stressful time for people to to have to leave their homes under these conditions.”
Notley says that she has been in contact with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“The Prime Minister indicated that all things that we need to have to support both the community as well as our efforts will be provided.”
The Premier says that the government is focused on what’s most important.
“Our focus is completely and entirely right now on ensuring the safety of people. Of getting them out of the city and ensuring they’re safe and secure.”
She acknowledged the efforts of fire crews who are on the ground and in the air battling the flames.
“I want to thank the firefighters, the pilots, the volunteers, the emergency service workers who are working in an incredibly dedicated way under very difficult circumstances right now to support the community of Fort McMurray”
If the situation on the ground allows for it, the Premier says that she’ll be in Fort McMurray as early as Wednesday.
“Circumstances permitting I will be going up there tomorrow, although again it’s a very changing situation and it has to be something that is done subject to the best interests of ensuring the safety of both the residents and citizens of Fort McMurray as well as those very dedicated people who are working to preserve their safety.”
Fort McMurray City Councillor Colleen Tatum is confident her City won’t have to deal with this disaster alone.
“I’m sure that whatever help is available is on it’s way.” We have a great team of people in our community for emergency response and Alberta has a great team as well. I’m sure that there’s probably people on the way from all over right now.”
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson has been in contact with Mayor Blake. He said Edmonton is on stand by. “We have some crews that we can send if it’s helpful around structure fires and if there are large evacuations we’re standing ready if necessary to accommodate people here.”
“I know that our emergency operations centre is monitoring this and our fire crews and a duty officer at fire rescue services is in touch with folks up north, so we’ll stand ready to render assistance.”
“We’re all watching here and we’re concerned friends and family that we have up there and we’ll do what we can to help.”
Iveson said the Municipality of Wood Buffalo does have capacity to handle evacuees, “but if it became necessary we’d stand ready and activate what ever emergency housing is necessary.”