It’s been almost two weeks, and still the city of Fort McMurray sits abandoned against a backdrop of flame and ash.
While the Alberta government has committed to grinding out a schedule to return the 80,000-something evacuees home, fire officials say the blaze is expected to take months to extinguish.
Despite what is projected to become one of worst financial disasters in Canadian history, there are a few silver linings to these thick, ashen clouds.
Almost 2,500 buildings (mostly residential homes) were lost in the fire, but Fort McMurray fire chief Darby Allen says, “85 per cent of the city is still intact.” And for probably the first time ever, Albertans pray for this spell of cooler weather to continue to give firefighters even the slightest advantage over the relentless blaze.
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is doling out high praise for the teams of firefighters who banded together to save 25,000 homes as well as the hospital and local schools in town.
Because of the magnitude of the disaster and its relation to the oil sands, Alberta finance analysts say Canada’s economic growth projections are being scaled way back.
Evacuated from the Fort McMurray office, Teamsters Local 362 is still working diligently to support the citizens of Fort McMurray and mitigate the devastation in any way possible.
For those in need of shelter, please visit our website at teamsters362.com. Teamsters Canada is matching donations from the National Joint Council and other local unions, which will go to the Canadian Red Cross.
A trust fund is also being established for monetary donations for the short and long-term aid of our membership and community — please visit our website for more details.
Our thoughts are with the people of Fort McMurray. Together strong.