Amidst the backdrop of a scorched province, the Alberta Fire Chiefs Association is meeting this weekend in Calgary.
AFCA Executive Director Bill Purdy tells the Alberta Morning News, it has already been one of the busiest fire seasons in years.
“We’re moving forward, and we’re slowly gaining momentum back to when we can let the folks back into Fort McMurray,” he says. “The other areas are pretty well under control, so the only one that’s out of control right now is in the Fort McMurray area.”
Purdy says, overall, the association was very pleased with the firefighting effort in the Fort McMurray area. First responders acted quickly and effectively on multiple fronts, and nearby communities rapidly mobilized to offer assistance.
“Thirty-one of them, in fact, pulled resources from their own communities and went to Fort McMurray to help the people out there,” he explains. “There was excellent, as far as I can see, cooperation, by all agencies, to get into Fort McMurray, and do what they could do to help out.”
As the worst of the crisis winds down, Purdy adds one of the next steps will be making sure tools and information are available to help those firefighters who may be suffering from PTSD. (scb, AMN)