Salute workers fighting the Fort McMurray and area fires! Salute the workers and people of Fort McMurray! (May 5) – The evacuation of Fort McMurray is now complete, with close to 90,000 people forced to leave as the devastating forest fires continue to rage. The people of Fort McMurray and emergency workers are being widely recognized for their strong community response in accomplishing the evacuation of their city under extremely perilous conditions.

The Alberta government declared a provincial state of emergency. Authorities report that two people were killed in a tragic accident on highway 881 south of Fort McMurray amidst heavy traffic of evacuees. There are presently no other known deaths or serious injuries.

Firefighters continue heroic efforts on the ground and in the air to battle the devastating wildfires burning in Fort McMurray and area. Five dozen firefighters from the state of Jalisco, Mexico have now joined the hundreds of firefighters from Wood Buffalo, Slave Lake, and Edmonton, working to suppress the fire. They are here to fight the massive blaze in the Wood Buffalo region as well as forest fires across the province, including one west of Edmonton that is destroying homes and has caused the evacuation of the Alexis Sioux First Nations and the Glenevis area in Lac Ste. Anne County West of Edmonton. One hundred firefighters from Ontario are on their way, and hundreds of firefighters from across the country are on standby to assist when needed.

Three subdivisions in Fort McMurray have suffered extensive damage to homes and businesses and seven more communities in Wood Buffalo have also experienced serious damage. At least 1,600 structures (homes and businesses) have been lost. Fire officials are warning that a lethal combination of high temperatures and winds and low humidity means that the crisis is far from over. The fire covers more than 10,000 hectares (100 square kilometres).


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