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RMWB Wildfire Recovery Information

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Excavated soil from wildfire-damaged properties in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo will be stockpiled in Abrams Land starting on Saturday, May 20, at 8 a.m. The stockpiling site is located at the rear southwest corner of Abrams Land and can be accessed on the west side of Thickwood Boulevard across from Dickins Drive. Contractors hauling soil will be asked to sign a declaration form on site to confirm that the soil comes from a wildfire-damaged area. Stockpiling the soil will significantly reduce the quantity of rebuild-related material entering the Regional Landfill as it can be repurposed in the future. Soil from areas other than wildfire-damaged properties must be taken to the Regional Landfill, where it will be subject ...

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Temporary waste bins have been installed in Abasand, Beacon Hill, Waterways, Wood Buffalo and Stone Creek to support residents who are moving back in to homes rebuilt following the wildfire. These homes will not be receiving regular residential waste pick-up until approximately 80 per cent of rebuild in the area is complete. These bins are only for residential waste and will be supervised by the Construction Management Teams (CMTs) and on-site security to ensure contractors and builders are not using the bins. These residential waste bins are located in a fenced-in area in each community and will be accessible to residents from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The bins will be emptied at least once a week, or ...

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The Recovery Task Force (RTF) has received the appraisal report for Waterways lots subject to slope stability concerns and will make a recommendation to the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) that 21 lots be acquired at their pre-fire value. “Many residents provided input that was essential in developing this recommendation,” said Jeanette Bancarz, Chair of the WBRC. “We thank for them for their involvement with the process and for their continued patience.” The report is included in the May 17, 2017 WBRC meeting agenda at rmwb.ca/council. Questions about the Waterways slope stability assessment should be directed to recovery@rmwb.ca.

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The Municipality has released an information package for home owners and contractors outlining code compliant development options for rebuilding homes on zero lot line properties. In response to inquiries received by the Planning & Development Department, this information package will provide clarity on zero lot line development options that are in compliance with both the Land Use Bylaw and the Alberta Building Code. A zero lot line property is a residential development where buildings can be located on one or more property lines with no yard between the building and the property line. Homes built on zero lot line properties include single family homes, duplexes and triplexes. Home owners and contractors can view the Alberta Building Code and Zero Lot ...

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Regional Emergency Services (RES) members are undertaking wildland urban interface firefighter training to help improve the response to wildfires in our region. This training will include some supervised burn activity that may be visible to residents. This training is conducted annually by RES to proactively prepare to respond to any detections of wildfire that impact the urban service area. All burn activity is safe and is conducted by trained professionals. Fire and smoke will be visible during the training activity and this may cause concern or unexpected emotional triggers for some residents. This is a normal reaction and there are resources available at rmwb.ca/support. If you live in an area near where this training is taking place, keep your ...

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Emergency Access Roads will be built this summer in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Wood Buffalo. A Here for You public information session is being held to provide details about where the roads will be built, when construction will take place, and why the roads are necessary. Residents in all three communities are encouraged to attend. Engineers from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and from Stantec, the contractor working on the design of the roads, will provide a presentation and will be available to answer questions. Date: Wednesday May 10, 2017 Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Location: McMurray Experience, 9909 Franklin Avenue Presentation Time: 6 p.m. Construction on the Emergency Access Roads is scheduled to ...

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On May 1, 2017 Western Economic Diversification Canada launched the Drywall Support Program to support Western and Northern Canadian drywall contractors and builders, as well as residents of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed in the May 2016 wildfires. Between Sept. 6, 2016, and Feb. 24, 2017, building costs increased in parts of Canada due to higher duties placed on imported drywall from the United States. These increased building costs directly impacted contractors, builders and homeowners in the RMWB who were, and still are, in the rebuild phase of recovery. This short-term relief program aims to provide financial assistance to address the unintended effects of the duties, ensure stability of the construction ...

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Effective immediately, all contractors and builders participating in any aspect of the rebuild in Beacon Hill must use the newly built construction access road at all times. The construction access road has been built on the greenspace adjacent to Beacon Hill Drive and Highway 63. The road is marked and is separated from residential traffic by a fence. This new temporary construction access road will help to improve safety in Beacon Hill, where there is a high concentration of rebuild activity, by separating heavy construction traffic from residential traffic. This road will also help to maintain the cleanliness of public roadways in the neighbourhood. All residential traffic will continue to access the community using existing streets. Residential use of the ...

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Effective immediately, all fees at the Regional Landfill associated with the disposal of Acceptable Contaminated Soil for residential homes in wildfire damaged areas will be waived until December 31, 2018 and fees paid to date will be refunded. Waiving these fees will help decrease the overall cost of recovery for the owners of properties destroyed and damaged by the wildfire. Property owners and contractors hauling soil will be asked to provide a declaration to Regional Landfill staff that indicates the soil originates from a wildfire damaged area. Haulers will also be asked to indicate the approximate number of loads to be delivered for each project. Anyone hauling soil from outside the wildfire damaged areas will continue to be required to ...

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Community gatherings are being held throughout the region starting on May 3 to recognize the May 2016 Horse River Wildfire. The community gatherings include the dawn-to-dusk event being held at Snye Point Park and in Fort McKay on May 3, 2017 and events planned for Fort Chipewyan, Anzac and Gregoire Lake Estates, Conklin, and Janvier in the days following. "As we mark the first year of recovery, we know that feelings are going to be mixed," said Mayor Melissa Blake. "By providing respectful space and opportunity, willing residents will be able to connect, share and reflect together on our experiences of the last year." The Snye Point Park event takes place from 5 a.m. to 9 p ...

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Construction Management Teams (CMTs) have been activated to help identify hazards, reduce risks, and promote safety education and compliance where rebuild construction is taking place. The CMTs will also co-ordinate and facilitate construction activity to minimize traffic congestion and provide contractors with direct access to regulators. The CMT locations are based on proximity and similar rebuilding requirements and staff are onsite from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days per week. Timberlea, Thickwood, Wood Buffalo and Parsons Creek CMT Location: Intersection of Siltstone Place and Prospect Drive Abasand, Lower Townsite and Grayling Terrace CMT Location: Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) staging area on Abasand Drive Beacon Hill, Gregoire CMT Location: Beacon Hill Drive across from Beale Crescent Waterways, Ptarmigan ...

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Residents are invited to attend the next meeting of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) to hear a presentation about the Waterways slope stability assessment. The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, in Council Chambers at 9909 Franklin Avenue. The presentation will be co-delivered by Thurber Engineering and the Recovery Task Force to address technical questions residents have raised regarding the Waterways slope stability assessment. Immediately following the formal presentation at the WBRC meeting, a Here for You information session will be held in the lobby of the Jubilee Building, providing residents the opportunity to ask the representatives from Thurber Engineering and the Recovery Task Force additional questions. Questions about the Waterways slope stability ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is proud to announce the release of a construction safety video geared at educating students and children about the steps they can take to stay safe during the rebuild of the community following the 2016 Horse River Wildfire. ‘Rebuilding Wood Buffalo – How to Stay Safe’ was developed in partnership with public educators from the RCMP and Regional Emergency Services, stakeholders from the construction industry, safety experts, and with collaboration from the four local school boards. “We are fortunate to have partnerships throughout the community with stakeholders who work closely with the students who will benefit from the information in this video,” said Laurie-Anne St. George, Rebuild Supervisor. “The expertise of those stakeholders ...

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Regional Emergency Services (RES) crews are beginning burn abatement work throughout the region as part of their annual efforts to reduce the risk of wildfire in the region. Controlled burns are conducted by trained RES staff every spring to burn the dead and dry fuels that accumulate throughout the winter months. Controlled burns improve and promote the growth of new vegetation while safely and effectively managing the wildfire hazard. Fire and smoke will be visible during the controlled burns and this may cause concern or unexpected emotional triggers for some residents. This is a normal reaction and there are resources available at rmwb.ca/support. If you live in an area near where controlled burns are taking place, keep your windows ...

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) is recommending Council repeal Bylaw 16/015, an amendment to the Noise Bylaw, which allows for 24-hour Wildfire Recovery Noise throughout the region. The amendment was originally put in place on July 5, 2016, to facilitate the efficient demolition of the homes destroyed in the 2016 Horse River Wildfire. The WBRC supports the Recovery Task Force Recommendation to repeal the amendment because the need for 24-hour construction no longer exists. This move would also ensure consistent enforcement of the Noise Bylaw. “Our recommendation to repeal this bylaw recognizes a significant milestone for the community,” said Kim Jenkins, Chair of the Rebuild Sub-Committee of the WBRC. “There is no longer a need to prioritize demolition ...

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Homeowners and builders in the process of rebuilding are reminded there are important considerations regarding utility connections that must be taken into account. Residents or builders constructing a new property or doing any other project on an existing property that will disturb the earth should contact Alberta One Call at 1-800-242-3447 to ensure they are aware of what’s below the ground. To locate Shaw services call 1-866-DIG-SHAW (344-7429) or visit www.digshaw.ca. If the new building under construction is unchanged from the previous design, the homeowner or builder is responsible for connecting the service trench from the home to the property line to connect with the tie-in point for utility services. For driveway installation before utilities have been connected, ...

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Wood Buffalo residential property owners will receive up to 5.1 million in 2016 provincial education property tax forgiveness following confirmation of support to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. "We are pleased that the Government of Alberta has agreed to provide this much-needed support to RMWB residents," said Mayor Melissa Blake. "We appreciate the Province's continued assistance as we navigate the impacts of the 2016 wildfire and work towards long-term recovery." The Municipality requested partial forgiveness of the 2016 provincial education property tax following a unanimous Council resolution on August 30, 2016. The decision followed a recommendation of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) and featured 2016 tax relief measures in ...

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Committed to community-led recovery, the Municipality’s Recovery Task Force has issued a Request For Quotations (RFQ) for property appraisals following the public release of the Waterways slope stability assessment earlier this month. At its public meeting on March 8, following a presentation on the Waterways slope stability assessment, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) directed the Recovery Task Force to: Complete an analysis of community feedback received Review technical aspects of the Waterways slope stability assessment Identify any financial issues associated with each of the options identified and report back with recommendations for the WBRC’s consideration The Waterways slope stability assessment is a top priority for the WBRC and Recovery Task Force. Any recommendation made by the WBRC would then ...

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Homeowners who believe their property was damaged by water bombing efforts undertaken in response to the May, 2016 wildfire are encouraged to contact the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. The Municipality is currently developing a program to assist property owners affected by water bombing. Outreach to water bomb-affected property owners has already begun. Any property owner affected by water bombing who has not been contacted by the Recovery Task Force is asked to email wildfire.claims@rmwb.ca with their contact information.

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Tree Canada will be taking part in a special Here for You public information session about the Re-greening Projects taking place across the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). Tree Canada representatives will be available to answer questions about Operation ReLeaf – Fort McMurray and the locations in which their reforestation pilot project will run. “Like all Canadians, everyone at Tree Canada was deeply moved by the wildfire that moved through your community last year,” said Michael Rosen, President, Tree Canada. “We knew instantly that we wanted to do something to help and so we reached out to our amazing corporate partners and everyday Canadians to raise the funds needed to help us restore Fort McMurray’s cherished greenspaces.” ...

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Residents are advised that the deadline for firewood pickup as part of the Birchwood Trails firewood project is Friday, March 24, 2017. Since early December, timber for firewood has been available to residents on a first-come, first-served basis. The timber was harvested from ongoing FireSmart fuel reduction projects in the Birchwood Trails area. Following the March 24 deadline, the areas will be cleaned of remaining timber and debris. To collect firewood, residents must apply for a deadfall permit at the Municipality’s South Operations Centre (140 Airport Road, Fort McMurray). The customary 5 deadfall permit fee will be waived for firewood pickup from areas indicated on this map. A portion of the harvested timber was recently delivered to the McMurray Métis ...

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Representatives from the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are returning to the community to help residents and business owners better understand their insurance policies and to help them navigate the next steps in the process. “We’re hearing from people that insurance seems to be one of the biggest aspects of recovery for individuals and business owners. We want to address that,” said Marty Giles, Chair of the Economy Sub-Committee of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC). “By bringing these experts back into our community on a regular basis people will have the chance to sit down, figure things out and know where they go from here.” IBC representatives will be holding one-hour one-on-one sessions with policy holders bi-weekly ...

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Residents are advised that log barricades have now been placed across several cleared areas in Saprae Creek to temporarily mitigate OHV access near residential properties. There is increased potential for OHV access near residential properties due to hazardous tree removal in the Saprae Creek area, and the fire breaks located in the Timberlea, Thickwood and Parsons Creek neighbourhoods in Fort McMurray. The Municipality is currently developing a plan to permanently mitigate the potential increase of OHV access in all affected areas and is collaborating with residents throughout the process. Residents will be notified once the Municipality has determined a permanent solution. Residents are encouraged to report all concerns about OHV misuse in their area to the Wood Buffalo RCMP at ...

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Residents are invited to an upcoming Here for You public information session focused on sharing the results of the Waterways slope stability assessment. What: Here for You public information session When: Tuesday, March 7, 2017 Time: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Where: Shell Place, Grand Ballroom A Topic: Waterways slope stability assessment Presentation: 4:30 p.m.; available live on Facebook.com/RMWoodBuffalo Municipal staff and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee members, including subject matter experts, will deliver the presentation. Immediately afterwards they will be available for facilitated breakout discussions to answer questions about the slope stability assessment. A presentation on the Waterways slope stability assessment will also take place at the next Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) meeting, scheduled ...

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Homeowners in the process of rebuilding their homes are reminded it is their responsibility to verify their property lines before building fences on their property. Should any fences encroach onto neighbouring Municipal property, homeowners will be asked to remove or relocate them. While there are no permit requirements for building a fence within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), all homeowners must follow the location and height restrictions for fences that are set out in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB). These restrictions can be found online at rmwb.ca/fencingandencroachments. The Planning and Development Department would also like to remind homeowners that the LUB Wildfire Overlay 16/020, which was passed Sept. 28, 2016, is intended to provide a range of ...

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Starting Wednesday, March 1, 2017, the Here for You Public Information Sessions will be coming to the McMurray Experience at Jubilee Plaza every second Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. These drop-in sessions will continue the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) commitment to keeping residents informed in an accessible, convenient way. Members of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) and Recovery Task Force will be available to residents who have specific questions about the rebuild and recovery of the community. These drop-in sessions will be held on the weeks alternate to the WBRC meetings. “It’s essential our residents are informed about what’s going on as our community works to recover from the May wildfire,” said Jeanette Bancarz, ...

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Residents are invited to learn about work being done to manage forested areas and mitigate the risk of wildfire in the region. A drop-in public information session will be held at the Doug Barnes Cabin on Saturday, February 11, 2017 to allow residents to learn more and to ask questions about ongoing projects. Topics will include FireSmart and controlled burns, hazardous tree removal, Tree Canada’s Operation ReLeaf - Fort McMurray, trail remediation and firebreak restoration. What: Public information session Where: Doug Barnes Cabin, Birchwood Trails Date: Saturday, February 11, 2017 Time: 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Can’t make it and have a question? Please call the PULSE Line at 780-743-7000 or email recovery@rmwb.ca. Residents can also call ...

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The Municipality reminds residents that controlled burns are ongoing in the Birchwood Trails as part of the FireSmart fuel reduction projects. While the FireSmart fuel reduction projects are active, fire and smoke from the controlled burns will be visible. This may cause concern or unexpected emotional triggers in individuals. The Municipality reminds residents that this is a natural reaction and that resources are available to help cope with this stress. “Disasters such as the wildfire can have a big impact on your emotional and physical health; and there can be lasting effects to that such as emotional triggers,” says Leesa McLeod, People Services, Recovery Task Force. “If you find yourself experiencing these feelings, we encourage you to talk to ...

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Saprae Creek residents are encouraged to attend a Here for You public information session being held next week regarding the Hazardous Tree Removal Program. The Program has been paused to provide an opportunity for residents to raise their concerns directly with Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) staff and forestry specialists. Date: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 Time: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m Where: Vista Ridge, 1 Spruce Valley Drive If you have questions you can also call the PULSE Line at 780-743-7000 or email recovery@rmwb.ca.

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In the wake of the May 2016 wildfire, an Economic Opportunity Assessment is being conducted this week to better understand the current economic climate in our community and to plan future supports. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s (RMWB) Economic Development Department and the Recovery Task Force have invited a team of 10 experts in economic development following a natural disaster to conduct this in-depth assessment. The team, led by Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), will work with local businesses and key stakeholders to study the current challenges, the progress of recovery, and opportunities to improve the economic outlook of our community as a whole. “EDA is pleased to bring together this team of experts, because we know that economic developers ...

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Businesses that applied for the RMWB Small Business Workforce Support Program are encouraged to check their inboxes for email notifications regarding whether or not they have been approved for funding through the Program. “I am pleased that small business employers will soon have this support in their hands,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “The small business community is critically important not only to job creation and workforce development, but to the prosperity of our region.” Approved businesses should receive an email on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, outlining how they can view their individual funding amounts prior to receiving their cheques, which will be mailed out by Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Businesses that have not met all of the requirements ...

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All residents rebuilding their homes are reminded to track their permit and inspection progress, and ensure completion before reoccupying their homes. It is crucial that all Safety Codes inspections are completed to confirm your home is safe and compliant with the applicable building, electrical, plumbing and gas codes. Failure to comply could result in home owners and their families being exposed to unsafe conditions as a result of incomplete work and a sub-standard quality of work by contractors. Residents can track their permit and inspection progress online using Wood Buffalo Civic Insight. Upon completion of permits and inspections, ask your builder for copies of your site inspection report and permit services reports to help ensure the structure is built correctly ...

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Effective immediately, wildfire rebuild permits applied for online through the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s E-Permitting will now be exempt from submitting permit fees. Previously, there was no option to opt out of submitting fees online and home owners needed to submit a refund request. E-Permitting users need to keep in mind that, when applying for permits, the exempt fee button is for wildfire rebuild permits only. Regular permitting is not exempt and applicable fees are still required. Incorrectly submitted application will not be processed until the appropriate fees have been collected. Where permits have been issued and fees were paid, home owners are responsible to apply for a refund. To obtain a refund request form, visit online or contact ...

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Residents must avoid marked areas of the Birchwood Trails where active FireSmart work is ongoing. Caution signs have been posted in areas that are unsafe for entry because logging, mulching and other active work with machinery is taking place. Residents must heed the warnings posted on these signs and physical barriers erected to ensure their safety, including logs placed across the trails. Equipment being used for FireSmart mulching requires a 300m safe distance to operate. There is a risk of injury to anyone coming within that distance. The majority of trails remain open for your enjoyment, whether you are out for a walk, jogging or skiing. Project details and a map of the trails that are open are available at ...

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To improve safety and compliance with building legislation in the region, updates to three permit processes will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Building Permit Placards A permit placard will be provided for all building permits issued and it must be displayed at the construction site along with the civic address. Both the placard and the address identifying the site of the build must be clearly visible from the street. These identification tools are important for site inspections and crucial for the safety of all workers on site in the event of an accident because they will allow emergency services to locate the site quickly. If contractors fail to clearly display the placard and civic address the site will ...

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All residents rebuilding their homes are encouraged to take proactive measures to ensure their water and sewer services are in good working order and that reconnections are done properly. There are concerns that some of these connections may have become blocked with fire-related debris in all fire-damaged areas of our community. To ensure all water connections are clear of debris, the Municipality will be doing verifications at the curb stops of fire-damaged properties, usually located at the property line of a home. Homeowners will be required to remove any material, including backfill, construction supplies, and fire-related debris, that may have been placed over their curb stops. Residents are encouraged to have a contractor run a camera inside all connections before ...

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) is delighted to welcome Nathalie Aubrey to the committee following approval of the Selection Committee’s recommendation to Council on Tuesday night. “We are thrilled to have Nathalie join the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee as we continue to support our community in recovery,” said Jeanette Bancarz, WBRC Chair. “On behalf of the WBRC and the Recovery Task Force, we welcome Nathalie to the WBRC. We know she will be a major contributor to our shared community recovery efforts.” Ms. Aubrey’s appointment follows an open public call for applications earlier this month. Currently General Manager, MacKay River Operations for Suncor Energy, Ms. Aubrey replaces former WBRC member Mark Hodson, who resigned in November due ...

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The overwhelming majority of residents who have participated in both formal and informal public engagement opportunities have indicated the preferred direction for their community is to rebuild; some residents have already begun the rebuild process. The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) passed the following motion at the Dec. 7, 2016, meeting: That Administration be directed to develop a long-term flood mitigation strategy for recommendation to Council that accomplishes the following: Ensures that residents within flood hazard areas will be fully eligible for Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) funding for future flood events; Allows the encumbrances (development agreement and restrictive covenant) currently being required as conditions of approval to re-develop fire damaged properties in the flood hazard areas to be discharged from ...

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The Municipality is accepting applications for a position on the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee. Membership of this Committee consists of three Councillors, the Mayor as an ex officio member, and up to six members of the public at large. The general mandate of the Committee is to exercise “policy and governance oversight with respect to the Recovery Task Force” with specific areas of responsibility set out in Bylaw 16/013. The Recovery Task Force is charged with consulting with and working with a broad range of stakeholders “in order to decide upon and execute measures to ensure that the Municipality and its residents will be well established on a path to recovery from the devastation caused by the Wildfire in the ...

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As part of the Municipality’s commitment to continued public engagement, the Recovery Task Force is seeking volunteers who are willing to participate in small focus groups in Fort McMurray. The focus groups will be an opportunity for municipal staff and residents to meet and have deeper discussions. The focus groups will be small round-table discussions, with the goal of gathering feedback from a diverse range of Wood Buffalo residents. Participating residents will be able to provide feedback on select recovery activities before they are launched to the public. This will allow the Recovery Task Force to provide services and programming that meets the needs of Wood Buffalo residents more effectively. At this time, residents must be able to meet in-person ...

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The State of Local Emergency that was declared on May 1, 2016, will end tonight at 11:59 p.m. This marks a significant milestone as it, along with Phase 2A and 2B re-entries, represents a return to pre-wildfire community safety levels. “When you look around our community, you can see the results of our residents’ strength and resilience,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “Six months ago, destruction was all around us and now we see our community standing up again and working together as recovery and rebuilding continues to gain momentum. On behalf of my Council colleagues, I’d like to thank our residents for their resolve and commitment to safety and to the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee and Task Force, ...

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Habitat for Humanity Wood Buffalo, Samaritan’s Purse, World Renew, Mennonite Disaster Services and FuseSocial have collaborated efforts to try and assist those who have identified as uninsured or underinsured following the devastating fire in our community. Together, they have formed a working group entitled NGOs Supporting Uninsured and Underinsured Residents (NSUUR), which focuses on repairs and rebuilds for primary resident home owners within our region who are uninsured and underinsured. NSUUR encourages community members who fall within these guidelines to call the PULSE Call Line at 780-743-7000 to start the application process. Once an initial needs assessment has been conducted, residents will be put in touch with an NSUUR representative who will conduct an in-depth screening process to determine qualified ...

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The Municipality has announced free temporary waste transfer stations for residents re-entering for Phase 2B in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways. Residents of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways re-entering for Phase 2B can dispose of residential waste free of charge at any of a number of bins located around these neighbourhoods. This service is intended to facilitate cleanup of residential waste for Phase 2B residents only and does not include contractor waste, hazardous waste, fridges or freezers. Waste bins will be at the following locations until further notice: Abasand - North Corner of Athabasca Ave. & Ryan Lane Corner of Athabasca Ave. & Robinson Lane Corner of Athabasca Ave. & Richardson Lane Corner of Athabasca Ave. & Roy Lane Abasand ...

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Residents of 169 Abasand and 55 Beacon Hill homes can return home effective immediately, following a new recommendation from Dr. Karen Grimsrud, Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). Security checkpoints in Abasand and Beacon Hill are no longer active and all green homes in the region are accessible to residents, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing recovery effort. Residents of Abasand and Beacon Hill who have already returned are encouraged to welcome their neighbours home. Mobile security patrols will continue in all damaged areas until further notice. While the Phase 2B re-entry begins immediately, an Information Centre will be open in the gymnasium of Father Beauregard School (255 Athabasca Avenue) on Monday, November 7, 2016, from noon to 8 ...

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Land surveyors will be in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways in the weeks ahead conducting site and topographical surveys. The proactive work is needed to create accurate grading maps of each neighbourhood and its properties for rebuilding and to identify potential drainage issues. “These areas are some of the oldest in Fort McMurray and as a result we need to update our maps of these communities,” said Erin O’Neill, Operations Manager, Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force. “Completing this work now will allow Planning & Development to provide the best guidance for rebuilding residents, creating positive drainage effects across the community.” The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo contracted IBI Group Inc. to identify and confirm existing grade elevations; road, ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates Council approved recommendations by the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) to make the development of a regional-level alternate egress and emergency evacuation route (to be termed “East Clearwater Highway”) its highest priority mitigation requirement. It also allocated 5 million in the Proposed 2017 Budget as the Municipality’s contribution to the overall pre-design costs for the proposed East Clearwater Highway, subject to a commitment from the GOA on the remainder of the pre-design costs. As part of the Committee’s wildfire mitigation strategy, the Municipality will also support the GOA’s comprehensive FireSmart plan. Additionally, it will pursue GOA backing to fund a provincial/municipal ...

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Wood Buffalo residents building or renovating their home or property will have a unique opportunity to connect with local builders at a new three-day Home Builder Expo during the 2016 Christmas Show and Marketplace, held at the Suncor Community Leisure Centre from November 25 – 27, 2016. “The Home Builder Expo is another great opportunity to bring local businesses and residents together over the common goal to rebuild our community,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “Our aim is to support our local and regional businesses and give residents easier access to local products and services to help them build, rebuild or renovate their homes.” “The Home Builder Expo is a first for us and gives the local build community ...

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Waterways residents will be able to return to their standing homes on Monday, October 24, 2016, following today’s updated recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). This re-entry is considered Phase 2A. It includes all 31 standing homes and two commercial structures in Waterways. This phase of re-entry was made possible by the substantial completion of demolition and the presence of multiple risk mitigation measures to protect returning Waterways residents. Many homes in Waterways were modular homes, resulting in a lower volume of ash and debris to be cleared. The average clean-up time for properties in Waterways ranges from one to two days, aided by the fact that many modular homes are placed on above-ground concrete pads or ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) welcomed a presentation from Dana Woodworth, Team Leader of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force, on regional mitigation measures. The WBRC unanimously approved a motion to recommend to Council for approval a number of items including the development of a regional-level alternative egress and emergency evacuation route, FireSmart, leveraging experts on the best way to protect the Region from a WUI fire and expanding the capacity on the WUI fire crew similar to Slave Lake. The WBRC also welcomed presentations by the Social Recovery Task Force, and the Canadian Red Cross – ...

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The Municipality’s launch of its Firebreak Drainage Improvement project today is a proactive approach to eliminate safety hazards or the risk of property damage from ponding and drainage issues that emerged in firebreaks damaged during tree and vegetation removal. Contractors expect to complete grading of more than 100 sites along the 30 kilometres of firebreak in Fort McMurray by December 15. The grading work involves shaping the areas with heavy equipment so that water flows towards existing natural drainage routes without pooling and away from private property. Grading will start in Timberlea along the Birchwood Trails, and then north of Confederation Way. Residents are also asked to be safe and avoid construction sites in their neighbourhood when work begins. The ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Oct. 12, 2016, Council unanimously approved the Comprehensive Firebreak Program presented by Administration and the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force. Firebreak Properties are defined as real or personal property that has suffered damage as a result of proactive measures taken to demolish the property for firebreak purposes in advance of any ignition of the property. Any Firebreak Property owner who has not been contacted by the Recovery Task Forces is asked to email wildfire.claims@rmwb.ca with their contact information. On Oct. 12, 2016, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee voted unanimously to give its support to the 55.7 million ...

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On Sept. 11, Council unanimously approved the Comprehensive Firebreak Program, which provides a framework for assisting Firebreak Property owners. Firebreak Properties are defined as real or personal property that has suffered damage as a result of proactive measures taken to demolish the property for firebreak purposes in advance of any ignition of the property. Outreach to Firebreak Property owners has already begun. Any Firebreak Property owner who has not been contacted by the Recovery Task Force is asked to email wildfire.claims@rmwb.ca with their contact information.

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Oct. 3, 2016, the Municipality announced the details of its Wildfire Tax Relief program. All residential property tax accounts will automatically be credited. Owners who have paid their 2016 property tax in full can request a refund of the credit amount applied to their tax account. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Council approved amending the Land Use Bylaw to remove existing requirements for special flood proofing measures for rebuilds of homes in Waterways that were destroyed by the wildfire. Council also approved extending the Wildfire Recovery Overlay to all of Waterways. Council deferred discussion of the Compensation Program for the Owners ...

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The Municipality is pleased to share a correspondence letter between Mayor Melissa Blake of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs for the Government of Alberta and a separate correspondence letter Shane Schreiber, Managing Director, Alberta Emergency Management Agency shared with Mayor Blake. In conversation with both the Government of Alberta and Alberta Emergency Management Agency, the Municipality has clarified a number of details regarding flood mitigation plans in Waterways, including: The demountable flood wall is a potentially viable mitigation option, provided that it is built to a minimum of the 1:100 design flood level and can be shown to be viable in an ice-jam scenario. The GOA does not require building-level flood proofing ...

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The Municipality, in partnership with the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC), is pleased to announce the results of the Waterways survey, which ran from Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 – Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Residents of Waterways were asked to indicate which of the three rebuild options, if any, was the preferred choice. Options included: Status Quo: rebuild as close to how it was as possible, which would include flood mitigation and land use concerns. Internal Land Swap: rebuild in Waterways but not necessarily to the same lot and land specifications as before. This option comes with historic issues related to the Industrial Minerals Salt Plant land as well as slope stability issues; this land would need to be serviced and ...

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The Municipality has launched the Wildfire Tax Relief program. In the coming weeks, residential property owners can expect their Wildfire Tax Relief letters in the mail, with details on their respective residential property tax credit. The Municipality is sending letters to residential property owners who were on title on May 3, 2016, with details about the amount of cancelled taxes they are entitled to under this program. All residential property tax accounts will automatically have a credit applied to their accounts. Owners that have already paid their 2016 property taxes in full will have the option to request a refund of the credit amount applied to their tax account. Please visit rmwb.ca/wildfiretaxrelief for more information on the program. Background ...

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The Municipality has received clarification from the Government of Alberta about a common understanding of flood mitigation challenges facing the Flood Hazard Area of Waterways. The clarification will be included as part of the discussion at the hearing for Flood Zone Development Restriction amendments at the Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4. In an effort to empower the community-driven recovery, residents have been asked to complete a survey about Waterways. If you are a resident of Waterways and have not yet completed the survey, please call the Pulseline at 780-743-7000. Results from the survey will be announced publicly on Monday, Oct. 3.

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is pleased to launch Wood Buffalo Civic Insight, a mobile-friendly tool that allows residents to view and monitor permitting and new construction activities in their neighbourhood. Residents can view detailed permitting, demolition and construction progress, including dates and the status of permits (i.e. applied, reviewed, issued, inspected or finalized) by inputting a street name or address, or by clicking on an address. The tool also provides workflow checks each month in addition to daily, weekly and monthly permit volumes. Residents can sign up for alerts, which offer up-to-date information about what’s happening with their property or properties in their neighbourhood. A comprehensive tour of the tool is also available. “It’s essential that the ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and the Government of Alberta continue to collaborate to ensure that a common understanding of flood mitigation challenges facing the Flood Hazard Area of Waterways is achieved at both municipal and provincial levels. The RMWB submitted a proposal for flood mitigation to the Government of Alberta on Aug. 18, 2016, and received a letter responding to the proposal on Sept. 21, 2016. Since receiving the letter, the Municipality has requested clarification on some of the items presented by the Government of Alberta. More information regarding flood mitigation measures will be shared with all residents when clarification has been received. In an effort to empower the community-driven recovery, residents have been asked to complete ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Tuesday, September 27, Council approved 12 measures that will offer varying levels of financial relief for residents affected by the wildfire. The total cost savings to provide residents relief will be more than 11 million, with some of the costs covered through the province’s Disaster Recovery Program and collaboration with various social profit organizations including the Canadian Red Cross.. Council also unanimously approved the second and third readings of the Wildfire Recovery Overlay (Bylaw No. 16/020). The change will positively impact rebuilding in Stone Creek, Wood Buffalo, Abasand, Beacon Hill, and the areas of Waterways that are above the flood ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo reminds homeowners with destroyed properties that the deadline to remove and lawfully dispose of structural ash and steel from their lots is Sept. 30. Homeowners must have the necessary permits and begin work to clean up their property by Sept. 30 or the Municipality will arrange for its contractors to complete the work on behalf of the homeowner. The Municipality issued demolition orders in July for all properties that were destroyed or were so severely damaged that they require demolition. Residents must meet the deadline to remove all structural ash and steel from their lots to allow the remaining unoccupied standing homes in the affected areas to be reoccupied. If the Municipality is required ...

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Following the successful demolition clean-up, the Municipal Landfill’s hours of operations for commercial haulers are being scaled back, effective Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. Tomorrow, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016, will be the last night the landfill will operate through the evening and will then be open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for both residents and commercial haulers. The Municipality has reduced the landfill’s hours to reflect the reduced amount of daily incoming commercial haul traffic after 8 p.m. The Municipality also reports that demolition cleanup by SPECS is on schedule to meet the Sept. 30 deadline. As of Sept. 27, 2016, 548 demolition inspections have been completed. Tipping fees continue to be waived for residential household ...

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In an ongoing effort to inform residents about recovery initiatives, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo – in partnership with the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC), Task Force, subject matter experts, and various stakeholders – is seeking your feedback on recovery communications and engagement. Effective today, residents can complete the online questionnaire specific to the ‘Here for You’ Information Sessions and general recovery initiatives, which will be available until Friday, October 7, 2016. Municipal representatives will review the feedback and share results with the WBRC. Social media posts will not be considered official feedback. Residents are encouraged to attend the weekly ‘Here for You’ information sessions held every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Shell Place. Insights gathered ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Tuesday, Sept. 20, Council voted unanimously in favour of removing obstacles to rebuilding in fire affected neighbourhoods, including costs and safety restrictions. Council also voted unanimously in favour of repealing Bylaw 16/011, which prevented the start of rebuilding in the neighbourhoods of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways, until the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health deems these areas fit for human habitation. Council approved that the Chief Administrative Officer and the Interim Recovery Team Leader work together to develop a recommendation on compensation for owners of the 53 properties damaged during the firefighting operations by October 4, 2016. At the ...

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In an ongoing effort to listen to the concerns of residents and provide information about recovery, the Municipality – in partnership with the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force – will host a Here for You Information Session on the removal of trees burned during the wildfire that pose a safety hazard in the community. Residents will have a chance to gather information about the selective removal and disposal of burnt trees along perimeter trails, roadways, municipal property, park infrastructure and in burned neighborhoods within the Urban Service Area of Fort McMurray. The scope of the work is anticipated to include burnt trees that have fallen, those with burnt roots that are leaning but haven’t fallen, and trees that are partially ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Council and Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee Updates On Tuesday, Sept. 13, Council voted unanimously in favour of Coun. Sheldon Germain’s motion to review fees on development and building permits, and asked that administration provide a review of recommendations for possible fee amendments no later than September 27, 2016. Also at the meeting, Coun. Keith McGrath served notice of motion on the cost of surveys for destroyed properties, to be considered at Council’s next meeting on Sept. 20. At the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) meeting last night, the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force presented the Wildfire Recovery Campaign Plan a long-term community recovery framework that establishes a roadmap ...

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Wood Buffalo Economic Development, in partnership with the Government of Alberta, is pleased to announce a Back to Business Coaching Program. Coordinated through the Back to Business Resource Centre (BBRC), the Coaching Program is dedicated to setting up local businesses for success. “The wildfires left many businesses in need of financial and professional support, and this program was created in direct response to help our business community,” said Lisa Slade, Back to Business Resource Centre Lead, Wood Buffalo Economic Development. “Consultants from the Institute of Certified Management Consultants of Alberta are available for one-on-one coaching and will help business owners and managers define issues, set priorities and establish an action plan that can be implemented immediately to help drive ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. On Tuesday, September 6, Council voted unanimously to support the first reading of an overlay amendment on the Land Use Bylaw. This amendment is a result of a Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee recommendation, which asked for the removal of the “discretionary use” designation of all lands in Abasand, Beacon Hill and much of Waterways. This change is important to show residents within these zones (other than R3) that they can rebuild to their pre-fire building footprint and will not be denied a development permit to do so. The recommendation also asked to establish with certainty what a property owner (or a group of owners) must do in order ...

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Following the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s (CMOH) revised recommendation issued on August 25, 2016, the Municipality is pleased to announce that the following CMOH Condition is removed from all Development Permits that have been issued for the areas of Abasand and Beacon Hill: Development and redevelopment within the Affected Areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways be temporarily restricted until these areas are declared by the Chief Medical Officer of Health of the Province of Alberta to be fit for human habitation. “This is an important step forward for our residents who have been patiently waiting to begin rebuilding in Abasand and Beacon Hill,” said Councillor Sheldon Germain, of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee. “I’m proud of this ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has released another recovery progress report. Officials were pleased to welcome 439 homes back into Abasand and Beacon Hill as part of Phase 1 Green Zone re-entry. Residents were able to return home starting at 8 a.m. on August 31, 2016, with Information Centres checking in a total of 237 residents. Over 1,000 contractors have completed the mandatory safety orientation for demolition work in Abasand and Beacon Hill. On Tuesday, August 30, Council voted unanimously to pass a motion cancelling a portion of property taxes to residents affected by the wildfire. Residents will see a portion of their taxes cancelled for the time that they were evacuated. Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is re-launching the BAGSTER® waste collection program on Wednesday, August 31, 2016, for residents in Phase 1 Green Zone homes. This program provides BAGSTERs® free of charge for all residents that qualify for municipal curbside waste collection in the Green Zones. Residents who belong to a condo association on or management group that has their waste handled via a contractor are not eligible. BAGSTER® bags are three cubic yards in size, can hold up to 3,300 lbs. and will be picked up as long as nothing is spilling outside of the perimeters of the bag. BAGSTER® bags should be placed along the curbside – same as where you would place municipal curbside waste ...

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The Abasand Information Centre will be closed for the remainder of the day due to weather concerns. Residents of Abasand are encouraged to go to Frank Lacroix Arena in Beacon Hill if they require additional support today. Weather permitting, the Abasand Information Centre will re-open tomorrow morning at 8 a.m.

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) would like to thank Council for approving its recommendation on residential taxation relief on Tuesday night. “Providing residential taxation relief to our neighbours, families and friends is a priority for all of us and we thank Mayor and Council its leadership for accepting our recommendation. It will especially deliver some help to residents that need it most,” said Jeanette Bancarz, WBRC Chair. “We also thank WBRC members Coun. Keith McGrath and Marty Giles, who advanced the issue with our residents in mind and worked in collaboration with Recovery Task Force staff and municipal administration to set the stage for tonight’s approval.” The WBRC residential taxation relief recommendation, approved by Council, calls for ...

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Ahead of the Phase 1 Green Zone Re-entry for Abasand and Beacon Hill, the Municipality has launched a mandatory site-specific orientation in order for contractors and their employees to continue working in these neighbourhoods. Contractor and resident safety is a top priority during the Phase 1 Green Zone Re-entry, and contractors and their employees require designated placards to enter and work in Abasand and Beacon Hill, effective Aug. 31, 2016. Contractors and employees can access the orientation by visiting https://www.rebuildwb.com. Once complete, contractors and employees will be required to bring a digital or print copy of your completion certificate to the security checkpoint. Security will then provide the individual with a vehicle placard. Please note that contractors and ...

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As recovery continues in the affected areas of Wood Buffalo, a new Progress Report is available to the public. The Municipality is pleased to announce an updated recommendation from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, following an extensive safety mitigation plan by the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force. This updated recommendation will allow for the reoccupation of 439 standing homes in Abasand and Beacon Hill. Residents will be able to re-enter on August 31, 2016. For more information, please go to rmwb.ca/ABW. The majority of the Birchwood Trails have reopened to the public, following work to repair and clear them for use. Certain sections that were heavily damaged will remain closed until further notice. Please observe all posted signage ...

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Some residents in Abasand and Beacon Hill will be able to return home following an updated recommendation on August 25 from Dr. Karen Grimsrud, the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). 439 homes are included in the Phase 1 re-entry, which is set for August 31. Residents who live in Abasand and Beacon Hill should visit www.rmwb.ca/ABW prior to planning their return to determine if their home is included in the Phase 1 re-entry.

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The Municipality is pleased to announce that a majority of the Birchwood Trails will reopen on Aug. 24, 2016. “We know how important the Birchwood Trails are to our community and reopening the trail system in a timely, safe manner remains a priority,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “We are thrilled residents can continue to boast a healthy and active lifestyle on our boreal trails as we reopen for all to enjoy.” Crews are currently performing regular maintenance to the trails, which had been postponed due to the wildfire and FireSmart hazard reduction activities. The Birchwood Trails will remain closed and barricaded until Aug. 24, as crews complete surface grading, washout repair and deadfall removal to ensure the trails ...

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As recovery continues in the affected areas of Wood Buffalo, a new Progress Report is available to the public. After reviewing the Green Homes Plan, the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) has provided additional feedback to the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force. Both the Task Force and the CMOH continue to work together to establish conditions that could allow for the re-occupation of some standing homes in Beacon Hill and Abasand. When the Plan is approved, the Task Force will announce the phasing of re-entry for standing homes in those areas. Today the Municipality has extended the temporary RV parking site at Abram’s Landing until October 31, 2016, in order to allow for alternative transitional housing options to be ...

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The Municipality has extended the temporary RV parking site at Abram’s Landing until October 31, 2016, in order to allow for alternative transitional housing options to be developed. While the Abram’s Landing site is not capable of providing service through the winter, the following sites can be used year-round: The Lewyk Park Campground 780-791-CAMP (2267) thelewykpark@gmail.com thelewykpark.com Tower Road Campground 780-715-3519 president@towerroadcampground.com towerroadcampground.com The Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force, Red Cross and Government of Alberta are continuing to develop interim housing solutions for residents. Updates will be shared when more information on interim housing needs is available.

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) continued its commitment to a community-driven recovery process as it voted on Wednesday night to hold weekly public meetings. WBRC meetings will be held every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. MT in the Council Chamber at the Jubilee Centre (9909 Franklin Avenue). The meetings are open to the community, streamed live at RMWB.ca and broadcast live on Shaw TV Fort McMurray. The WBRC will re-evaluate the schedule at its September 28 public meeting based on community need. “Everything we do will be guided by an open community conversation with our neighbours, families, friends and businesses – especially those most affected by the wildfires,” said Jeanette Bancarz, WBRC Chair. “We are here ...

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Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed that water quality has been restored to a safe level to all water system users serviced by the Fort McMurray water treatment plant. As such, the boil-water advisory has been lifted, effective immediately, for all areas with active water service by the water treatment plant, including the Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods. However, the water mains and service connections in several heavily damaged areas of the Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways neighbourhoods have not been flushed, do not have active water service and are currently out of service. These water mains and service connections are not in the “green homes” area that is currently under review by the Chief Medical Officer of Health. ...

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On Aug. 11, 2016, the Municipality issued the first rebuilding permit since the May 2016 wildfire that destroyed over 2,400 homes and structures. “The desire to rebuild our region has been constant since the earliest days of recovery, following the wildfire,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “While the process of our region’s rebuild requires a careful approach, I believe an important part of that is to recognize when steps are taken in the right direction and to celebrate them.” “This is an important milestone in our recovery,” said Jeanette Bancarz, Chair of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee. "With hundreds of families yet to reach this stage, the Wildfire Recovery Committee and Task Force will be here to ...

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In an ongoing effort to inform residents about recovery initiatives, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is pleased to announce the first in a series of public information sessions. In partnership with the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC), subject matter experts, and various stakeholders, the Municipality is committed to hosting weekly in-person information sessions for the next two months. This initiative supports the WBRC’s commitment to developing more opportunities to inform residents about ongoing recovery efforts. The Municipality will be hosting these informal in-person sessions at various locations across the region. Residents are encouraged to attend these information sessions for regular updates and ask questions related to recovery. The insights gathered from each session will be posted on rmwb.ca/engage ...

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This notice is for commercial hydrovac haulers and vac trucks hauling liquid material from flooded basements and other areas affected by the wildfire. With the cleanup process underway for areas affected by the wildfire and flooding, commercial hydrovac haulers and vac truck operators are reminded of the restrictions for materials to be discharged at the RMWB Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) located at 820 Memorial Drive. Our receiving facilities are regulated through provincial and federal legislation to accept only septage and mud in order to legally discharge the treated product into the environment as well as recycle the material. Therefore, our facilities cannot accept materials such as oils, grease, chemicals, demolition materials and other contaminants. Regulatory Compliance To meet regulatory compliance, ...

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As recovery continues in the affected areas of Wood Buffalo, a new Progress Report is available to the public.
On Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, a new recovery program was announced for small businesses in the region. The Municipality is offering $15 million of emergency relief funding for business in the region to help with wage assistance. The Government of Alberta and the Canadian Red Cross have committed to providing additional funding, which will provide up to $20,000 per small business applicant to cover recovery costs, including new equipment, property damage and cleanup.

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This notice is for all commercial haulers: On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, the RMWB landfill will be open for all commercial waste hauls, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This is ONLY during the demolition cleanup. An additional scale (operated by a third party) for commercial vendors will be situated on the Beacon Hill access road. When using this temporary location to scale in, drivers will receive a triplicate copy of their scale ticket, which must be presented prior to entering the landfill checkpoint at the main scalehouse. This temporary scale will operate on DAYSHIFT ONLY and is closed during the nightshift. Registration To efficiently process fleets as they come across the scale (prior to starting their haul), ...

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The Wildfire Support Group is open to any member of the community seeking support and coping strategies in dealing with grief and loss as a result of the wildfire. The group will be led by trained professional facilitators and will allow individuals to come together and share their stories and experiences in a safe, respectful environment. Schedule: 6 – 8 p.m. Tuesday evenings beginning Aug. 9 through Aug. 30 (four sessions). Location: Syncrude Athletic Park Please register by calling 780-743-7910. (Maximum 20 people per session.) Each session will follow the same format, people can register for as many or as few sessions as they would like.

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A new Progress Report has been issued on work completed to date to allow the safe re-occupation of standing homes in Abasand and Beacon Hill. This Report comes on the heels of the Canadian Red Cross announcement of 299 million in donations to support residents of Wood Buffalo, collected from individuals across Canada, as well as the federal and provincial governments. Following the wildfire, the Municipality led a massive effort that quickly allowed for the installation of over 64 kilometers of safety fencing and additional layers of tackifier following a successful sifting program. Municipal staff have made significant progress flushing and cleaning the water distribution network in Abasand and Beacon Hill. Flushing is nearly complete, at which point bacteria testing ...

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Residents of Anzac and Gregoire Lake Estates are advised that the temporary service of 30-yard bins placed in their communities is ending Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. Residents may continue to bring their residential waste to the landfill. The tipping fee for residential waste being brought to the landfill is being waived until Oct. 31, 2016.

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) has elected a Chair and Vice-Chair and will recommend to Council an interim Team Lead for the Wood Buffalo Recovery Task Force. Jeanette Bancarz, a long-time employee of ATB Financial and proud Fort McMurray resident was elected WBRC Chair. Bancarz is deeply integrated into the community as a volunteer with various social profit organizations and brings strong management and financial experience to the WBRC. Maggie Farrington, CEO of the Athabasca Tribal Council, was elected WBRC Vice-Chair. Farrington is also Chair of Wood Buffalo Housing Development Corporation and is a former Director of Aboriginal and Rural Relations with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “On behalf of the WBRC I would like to thank Jeanette ...

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The Government of Alberta is contributing $30.3 million to match money donated by Albertans to the Canadian Red Cross relief campaign for residents of Fort McMurray. Watch the announcement made Wednesday, Aug. 3, in Fort McMurray ....

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As part of the Municipality’s ongoing effort to support recovery, landfill tipping fees have been waived for residents until October 31, 2016. The extension is intended to offer homeowners and tenants from these affected neighbourhoods equal access to the waived fees made available to residents during the initial re-entry period starting June 1. The fee waiver applies to residential household waste brought to the landfill by personal vehicles, including small amounts of demolition and renovation materials (e.g., items impacted by smoke, fire or flooding), bagged waste and large items (i.e. furniture, white goods, small appliances, etc.). With demolition and debris removal underway, the residential landfill tipping waiver will aid in efficient waste removal. For questions or further ...

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Due to an overwhelming response from local businesses, the deadline to apply for the Small Business Emergency Relief Funding has been extended to August 12, 2016. Thanks to the contributions from the Canadian Red Cross, qualifying small businesses in the Wood Buffalo region impacted by the wildfire will have an extended opportunity to receive immediate financial support of 1,000. “We know the importance that businesses play to the vital success of our community,” said Keith Smith, Acting Director, Economic Development, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. “We have listened to our business community, and thanks to the generous support of the Canadian Red Cross, we are able to provide local business owners with additional time to apply for emergency ...

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As part of continued efforts to support community recovery, the Municipality has issued an Order to Remedy Dangers and Unsightly Property. This Order will be a vital tool in allowing residents to plan for the future and will speed the process of demolition and debris removal. The Order has been issued to the owners of every structure that was irreparably damaged or destroyed by the May 2016 wildfire. The Order is a necessary next step in the recovery process, as it will allow the community to move forward together with a common sense of direction. It provides owners of impacted properties a timeline to decide upon their own course of action, while giving the municipality the ability to protect the ...

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The Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee (WBRC) will review options for residential taxation relief and bring forward a recommendation to Council. This development follows Coun. Keith McGrath’s removal of a Notice of Motion from the Council meeting on July 12 that would have proposed a series of residential taxation relief efforts. The options will now be referred to the WBRC for further review. “This is being done so we can get this right for our neighbours, families and friends most affected by the wildfire,” said Coun. Keith McGrath. “The intent to help our residents that need it most remains a top priority and this will allow us to propose a solid recommendation to Council that is rooted in what will ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) is pleased to share a Progress Report on work that has been conducted in order to permit the safe return of residents to standing homes in the restricted areas of Abasand and Beacon Hill. Significant progress has been made across Fort McMurray with fortified fencing, additional tackifier, infrastructure assessments and water flushing all underway in preparation for returning residents. The safety of residents has remained the primary focus of the re-entry and re-building process. “The RMWB is in the process of finalizing our safety mitigation plan, which includes feedback from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), to reinforce how residents will be kept safe during debris removal ...

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The municipality wishes to reassure residents of their safety as smoke from wildfires in the Northwest Territories is blown through northern Alberta. This is a common occurrence and residents should not be concerned for their safety. There are no active wildfires in the vicinity of Fort McMurray or the surrounding communities. For health advice or questions call 811 or go to MyHealth.Alberta.ca. As the community continues to recover from the May 2016 wildfire, residents are reminded of the mental health supports that are available to them in times of need. Mental Health services are now available through Alberta Health Services at the Fort McMurray Queen Street Building (10217 Queen Street). Walk-ins and scheduled appointments are welcome. Services include ...

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Alberta Health Services has confirmed that water quality for rural communities south of Fort McMurray has been restored to safe levels and as a result the boil water advisory has been lifted for the areas effective immediately. The boil water advisory has been lifted for Anzac, the Anzac Truckfill, Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation and Gregoire Lake Estates. This follows earlier announcements that the boil water advisory had been lifted for Airport Lands, Dickinsfield, Grayling Terrace, Gregoire, the Lower Townsite area, Mackenzie Park, Parsons Creek North, Prairie Creek Residential, Saline Creek, Saline Plateau, Spruce Valley Estates, Saprae Creek Estates, Stone Creek, Thickwood, Timberlea and Wood Buffalo. The boil water advisory remains in place for the following areas: Abasand Beacon ...

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The municipality is reminding residents of their options for disposing of residential waste from standing homes, as the recovery process continues. The “white goods” pick up program coordinated by the Insurance Bureau of Canada concluded on June 30, 2015. If you still have a damaged fridge, freezer or other large appliance and you are insured, you should speak with your insurer before disposing it. If you are uninsured, it is your responsibility to take the appliance to the local landfill. Residents are asked not to leave units at the curbside, as they will not be picked up. As part of the recovery effort, the municipal landfill has extended its hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Tipping ...

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The Municipality is pleased to announce that temporary transfer station waste bins are changing back to Recycling Depots. The following temporary Transfer Stations will revert back to Recycling Depot status on Monday, July 11, 2016. All residential waste items can be brought to the landfill, which will continue with free tipping for the month of July. Transfer Stations: Franklin Avenue Depot Thickwood Depot Timberlea Depot Gregoire Depot For more information on garbage and recycling collection, visit rmwb.ca/garbage.

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Municipal pet owners will have until July 14 to claim ownership of their pets that were collected as part of rescue operations during evacuation. Pets are currently being held by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Municipal Law Enforcement Animal Care and Control Branch. Any pets remaining in RMWB care on July 15 will be considered abandoned, and will be transferred to rescue group adoption programs. If you have a missing pet, please look through our Animal Control In-Care Gallery. If you recognize your pet, please ensure you refer to the Animal Control Unit (ACU) file number when you call 780-788-4200 to claim it.

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is proud to support the local Indigenous business community, with 25 per cent of orders issued during the wildfire crisis going to Indigenous contractors and suppliers. “Throughout the wildfire crisis, we have had great success working with Indigenous businesses. We’re proud to announce that 25 per cent of the goods and/or services orders issued were with businesses in the Indigenous Community,” said Ted Zlotnik, Director, Supply Chain Management. “As we move forward, we’re committed to working with our Indigenous business community. We’re currently investigating options to increase the percentage we spend on goods and services from Indigenous businesses.” Throughout the crisis, 80 per cent of the Municipality’s spending has been with the ...

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The Municipality is reminding residents of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation and area campgrounds to clean and test their water tanks. The Municipality strongly recommends that all residents and commercial properties using cisterns (water tanks) for drinking water drain, clean and disinfect their water tanks prior to use. Cleaning tanks following long periods of disuse should be common practice. While all cisterns are private property, the Municipality encourages healthy and responsible use of private systems that are supplied with municipal drinking water. The Municipality is here to assist with this process by offering advice on how to drain, clean and disinfect your cisterns. Pamphlets from Alberta Health Services (AHS) explaining how to clean and test ...

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A statement from Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Scoble: As this community continues to deal with the aftermath of a devastating catastrophe, the municipality recognizes the pressure and hardship that residents are facing, particularly those who have lost homes. With an eye to the future, Administration is working as quickly as possible to create a safe, efficient and effective method of issuing demolition permits, which are required to undertake cleanup, hauling and disposal from fire-affected areas. In the face of the potential safety hazards and logistical challenges presented by the scale of the cleanup needed, we ask that the public continues to be patient while this method is developed. The lessons learned at Slave Lake have been very valuable in ...

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Alberta Health Services has confirmed that water quality for communities south and east of Beacon Hill Place has been restored to safe levels and as a result the boil water advisory has been lifted for the areas effective immediately. The boil water advisory has been lifted for the neighbourhoods of Gregoire, Mackenzie Park, Prairie Creek Residential, Saline Creek, Saline Plateau, Airport Lands, Saprae Creek Estates, and Spruce Valley Estates. This follows earlier announcements that the boil water advisory had been lifted for the Lower Townsite area, Grayling Terrace, Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Stone Creek and Parsons Creek North. The boil water advisory remains in place for the following areas: Abasand Beacon Hill Waterways Gregoire Lake Provincial Park Gregoire Lake ...

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One-hour telephone town halls will be held every Monday in July (July 4, 11, 18, 25) at 7 p.m. MT. Mayor Melissa Blake, Council members of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, Regional Emergency Operations Centre and municipal staff, and representatives from partner organizations will be available to answer questions from residents. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions will be answered during the call. Residents whose questions remain unanswered are encouraged to call PULSE at 780-743-7000. Residents who registered with the Red Cross or who have a landline in the region can expect to receive a call at approximately 7 p.m. on July 4. Residents can listen to the live audio stream and submit questions ...

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Following the end of the Provincial State of Emergency tonight at midnight, the Municipality will initiate a State of Local Emergency, effective July 1. “The safety of our residents is the top priority for Council and this next step is being initiated to ensure the resources needed remain in place until the Recovery Committee is fully operational,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. The Regional Emergency Operations Centre will continue to support the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, the community, and Municipal operations as the recovery process moves forward.;

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A one-hour telephone town hall will be held on Monday, June 27, at 7 p.m. MT. "Council invites our residents, wherever they may be, to join us for our first telephone town hall this Monday evening," said Mayor Melissa Blake. “This is a great opportunity for residents to ask questions regarding the recovery process or any other issue or topic of importance to them – and we’ll be there to listen to them and provide the best answer possible.” Residents who registered with the Red Cross or who have a landline in the region can expect to receive a call at approximately 7 p.m. on June 27. Residents can also register to receive a call and ...

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The Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) is committed to ensuring that every resident will be given the opportunity to have their property sifted. “We acknowledge that the sifting program has not met residents’ expectations and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and frustration that this has caused,” said Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management with the Regional Emergency Operations Centre. “We have identified the internal challenges that resulted in us missing appointments and failing to return calls, and have taken the necessary steps to rectify the situation.” The Municipality and REOC thank Team Rubicon for their support and generous efforts that resulted in approximately 700 properties being sifted to date; a REOC-led team will be continuing the property ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, thanks to the financial support of the Government of Alberta, is welcoming businesses back to the Wood Buffalo region with the new Back to Business Resource Centre. The Back to Business Resource Centre will act as a one-stop shop for businesses to access government, business planning and office resources assisting with their return to operations. “In the face of one of our country's worst natural disasters, Fort McMurray businesses are showing incredible resilience and taking the lead in rebuilding their city. We want to be there with owners and workers through the challenges ahead and this one-stop-shop will make it easier for them to get tools and support from local organizations who understand their ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo announced today that FuseSocial will lead the recovery volunteer management post-wildfire in Fort McMurray. FuseSocial is a local organization that facilitates connecting registered volunteers with social profit organizations or individuals in need of volunteer support. Individuals interested in volunteering to help with the recovery efforts, and organizations or individuals looking for volunteers, are encouraged to register via FuseSocial’s volunteer matching service at www.wbvolunteers.ca. Volunteers can create a profile where they identify their specific skills and the types of social profit organizations they would like the work with. Volunteers can also set up alerts to notify them when positions are posted within their areas of interest or specific skill set (e.g. wildfire ...

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) strongly encourages all Fort McMurray area homeowners whose houses were destroyed by fire during the wildfire to contact the RMWB PULSE line by Sunday, June 19, to request a site sifting appointment. Homeowners can schedule an appointment window by calling the 24-hour PULSE line at 780-743-7000 by Sunday, June 19. Sifting operations will continue until July 1, 2016. Sifting is available only for owners of fully burned homes and can potentially find items like jewelry or small heirlooms, particularly ceramics. Residents who are not able to attend their property visit can send someone in their place. A letter of permission and a copy of the homeowner’s proof of identification need to be provided ...

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Alberta Health Services has confirmed that water quality for communities north and west of Athabasca River has been restored to safe levels and as a result the boil water advisory has been lifted for the area effective immediately. The boil water advisory has been lifted for the neighbourhoods of Thickwood, Wood Buffalo, Dickinsfield, Timberlea, Parsons Creek North, Eagle Ridge, Stone Creek and the TaigaNova Eco-Industrial Park. This follows announcements on June 4 and June 10, 2016, that the boil water advisory had been lifted for the Lower Townsite area and Grayling Terrace. The boil water advisory remains in place for the following areas: Abasand Beacon Hill Waterways Gregoire Mackenzie Park Saline Creek Prairie Creek Saprae Creek Gregoire Lake Provincial Park ...

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In accordance with Section 19(1) of the Emergency Management Act (Alberta), the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) has implemented new operating procedures to ensure controlled access to the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways. The new rules are intended to help ensure that only residents and other approved individuals are in restricted areas. Residents will be provided a colour-coded wristband after they have proved residency in the restricted area with photo identification. The wristbands will provide streamlined access to the restricted area for future visits. Each restricted area will have a distinct colour: Abasand – orange wristband Beacon Hill – blue wristband Waterways – white wristband Click here for a map outlining the restricted areas. All other individuals ...

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A fire ban prohibiting all outside fires in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) has been lifted. Yesterday, the Ministry Agriculture and Forestry lifted the fire ban for the Fort McMurray Forest Area. Residents are asked to exercise caution. If you see any smoke or signs of a potential fire within the city of Fort McMurray, call 911. If you see a forest fire outside the city, call 310-FIRE. A fire permit is required for all burning. For information about fire permits within the Urban Service Area of Fort McMurray, visit the RMWB website at rmwb.ca/firepermitapp. To obtain a free permit outside of the Urban Service Area of Fort McMurray, contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry office ...

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The Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) is centralizing the way it collects "Offers of Resources" from local vendors, many of whom suffered significant loss of property and associated revenue during the wildfire. “The Municipality is committed to supporting local businesses, especially as we move into the recovery phase,” said Ted Zlotnik, Chief of Logistics, REOC. “These business owners are the backbone of our local economy, and together we will work to rebuild our community.” Mr. Zlotnik notes that the Municipality will endeavor to utilize local contractors where possible, however there may be circumstances where a vendor from outside the region is required. Local vendors are encouraged to submit an "Offer of Resource" form, which helps the Municipality better ...

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As residents visit their destroyed properties for viewing or for sifting led by Team Rubicon, they may notice some sections near or on their properties have been excavated or are in the process of being excavated. These excavations do not affect sifting efforts. Sifting is done within residential foundation walls and excavation is done outside residential foundation walls and on streets. This work is very important to ensure that storm, sewage and water services that have been compromised as a result of the fire are protected. This is to avoid the following situations: Precipitation carrying debris into the sewer trunks to potentially cause blockages in the sewer mains putting non-damaged structures at risk of flooding. Debris and other materials damaging ...

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The Municipality invites members of the public to attend tomorrow’s Council meeting. Residents will have the opportunity to be public delegates and ask questions of the regional Councillors for those items identified on the agenda. The agenda package can be viewed online. The Council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. Tomorrow’s Council meeting marks the first time Mayor and Council will meet at the Jubilee Centre Council Chamber, located at 9909 Franklin Avenue, since the mandatory evacuation. For more information about the Council meeting or to watch online, please visit rmwb.ca/council.

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Northern Lights Regional Health Centre (NLRHC) today announced it has begun to offer core health services in Fort McMurray. Core regional hospital healthcare services offered by NLRHC include: Medical and surgical inpatient Intensive care unit Operating room Obstetrical, pediatric and psychiatry services Starting June 21, all priority NLRHC health services are planned to be restored, including Ambulatory Care (Endoscopy and Exercise Stress Testing) and Dialysis services. Starting June 23, repatriation of NLRHC and Continuing/Long Term Care patients will begin. Alberta Health Services Recommendations AHS is recommending individuals delay returning to Fort McMurray until after June 20 if they: Require dialysis; Are receiving cancer treatments. If you are not sure or if you have further questions, please call Health Link (811). ...

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Northern Lights Regional Health Centre opens: Core services are now available at NLRHC, including medical and surgical inpatient, intensive care unit, operating room and obstetrical, pediatric and psychiatry services. All priority NLRHC health services will be restored by Tuesday, June 21. Deadline for Team Rubicon sifting appointments: Residents who need a property sifting appointment with Team Rubicon must apply by Sunday, June 19. MacDonald Island Park reopens: As of June 13, MacDonald Island Park has reopened to the public. They are providing two weeks of free programming to residents from June 13 to 26. SMS text message alerts for residents: Text “FORT” to 311 to sign up for time-sensitive text message updates to your mobile phone. UAV flights (e.g ...

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Transport Canada has restricted the airspace and prohibited the use of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) over Fort McMurray, and within five miles of the Fort McMurray International Airport. Now that Fort McMurray International Airport is open for commercial flights, this restriction is in place to prevent interference and collision between UAVs and manned aircraft during the re-entry and recovery period. Operation of UAVs, model aircraft and drones is prohibited until June 30, 2016. The restricted airspace extends from ground level up to 1000 feet. Only UAV operators specifically authorized by Transport Canada are permitted to fly within the restricted airspace. It is illegal and extremely dangerous to fly any type of UAV in restricted airspace without permission. Under the Aeronautics ...

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Beginning Monday, June 13, garbage and recycling collections will return to the normal collection schedule. Yard waste collection will also resume on Monday, June 13. Residents are asked to only use paper yard waste bags. If you have forgotten your collection day, or which recycling bin to put out, please go to the RMWB website, and type your address into the garbage and recycling schedule box. Additionally, the landfill public drop off facility is now open and is providing free disposal of residential waste brought by personal vehicles until June 30. For more information, please call the Environmental Services Department at 780-743-7947 or follow @RMWoodBuffalo on Twitter.

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A number of residents in Wood Buffalo are expected to make insurance claims for property loss over the coming months due to the wildfire. To make this process easier, the Municipality has established a new email system to request relevant property files. To process property loss claims, insurance adjusters will require approved property files and plans accessible through the Planning and Development Department. Property owners can request these property files and approved plans through the Planning and Development Department at property.inforequests@rmwb.ca. Request can also be made through an online form at www.rmwb.ca/property.info. Property Documents Residents can expect the following documents from their property file, if applicable: Real Property Reports Approved Building Plans Approved Development Permits ...

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Alberta Health Services has released updated information for family physicians that are in operation as of June 9 within Fort McMurray, including clinics that are accepting new patients. Future updates and wildfire resources from Alberta Health Services will be posted on www.ahs.ca/wildfire. See the June 9 list.

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Effective today, June 10, 2016, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is offering a temporary transit schedule for residents following re-entry. This service will continue until further notice. The temporary transit schedule will be available seven days a week, and regular transit fares will be collected. The temporary transit schedule replaces the special Wood Buffalo Transit Route 21. There is no rural service at this time. Our Specialized Mobility Assistance Required Transportation (SMART) Service – an accessible, curb-to-curb service – will also be available to residents starting June 10, although this service will be operating on a reduced basis. For more information on the temporary transit schedule, please visit rmwb.ca/transit-schedule.

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Small Businesses in the Wood Buffalo region impacted by the fires will now have the opportunity to apply for some initial emergency financial relief. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and Economic Developers Alberta (EDA), thanks to financial support from the Canadian Red Cross, will be providing 1,000 to each small business that meets the eligibility criteria. “Our businesses are resilient, but the wildfires have affected our community profoundly,” said Mayor Melissa Blake. “We know that they need financial assistance as they begin working through the recovery process, and I encourage all small business owners in the municipality to apply for this support.” Financial relief for small business was identified as a key priority in the ...

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As the volume of residents visiting the Information Centres continues to decrease, the following Information Centres will be closing on the corresponding dates: Friday, June 10 at 8:00 p.m.: Holy Trinity High School Westwood High School/YMCA Sunday, June 12 at 8:00 p.m.: Fort McMurray Composite High School As of June 8, over 45,000 residents accessed the services and resources available at the Information Centres. Beginning Monday, June 13, residents are welcome to visit the Future Forward Building at 9717 Franklin Avenue during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday for long-term information needs.

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Beginning June 8, residents wishing to visit their properties inside the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways have daily access to these sites between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and are strongly encouraged to take necessary health and safety precautions. These precautions include: Stay behind the fence to view destroyed properties Follow the advice of Alberta Health Services (available at rmwb.ca/pvp) Where appropriate clothing (long sleeves, long pants, closed toe shoes) Obtain personal protective equipment from security on site (nitrile gloves and M95 masks) Residents who would like someone to safely access destroyed properties to sift for heirlooms and keepsakes on their behalf can request the services of Team Rubicon by calling the PULSE line ...

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Starting tomorrow, June 8, 2016, residents wishing to visit their properties inside the restricted areas of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways will have daily access to these sites between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, until further notice. Access will be available to residents, members of the Property Visit Team and accredited contractors accompanying residents. All visitors will be required to sign in and out at security gates, provide identification and wear appropriate clothing (long sleeves, long pants and closed toe shoes). Additional protective equipment (nitrile gloves and N95 masks) will be provided on site. Residents with destroyed homes who only wish to view their properties can do so. Residents who require Team Rubicon sifting services will be able to schedule ...

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Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management, provided a media update Tuesday, June 7, in advance of Wednesday's property visit procedures for restricted areas damaged by the Fort McMurray wildfire You can listen to an audio replay of the conference call on YouTube.

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Due to lower volume of residents visiting the Oilsands Discovery Centre, the Information Centre will close at 8 p.m. on Monday, June 6. (Information Centres at Anzac Community Centre, Vista Ridge and Eagle Ridge Community Centre closed Saturday.) The following information Centres will continue to remain open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. until further notice. Composite High School Holy Trinity School Westwood High School Residents are welcome to visit any of the three Information Centres on a drop-in basis anytime. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo will continue to keep residents informed about any changes regarding Information Centres.

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Now that the wildfire event has passed, it’s important that residents of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray No. 468 First Nation and area campgrounds clean and test their water tanks. The Municipality strongly recommends that all residents and commercial properties using cisterns for drinking water drain, clean and disinfect their water tanks prior to use. The Municipality is here to assist with this process by offering advice on how to drain, clean and disinfect your cisterns. A pamphlet from Alberta Health Services explaining how to clean and test tanks was distributed to homes and campgrounds. Cleaning tanks following long periods of disuse, like the mandatory evacuation we recently went through, should be common practice. While all cisterns are private ...

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Changes at Information Centres Due to lower volumes than expected, some re-entry centres listed below have been closed. [Learn More] Archive Note: The information below is the original announcement regarding updates to Information Centre hours and locations. The seven Information Centres set up to assist residents during phased re-entry are experiencing a lower volume of residents visiting since they initially opened on June 1, 2016. As a result, the centres in Anzac Community Centre, Vista Ridge and Eagle Ridge Community Centre will close at 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 5. The following information Centres will continue to remain open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. until further notice. Fort McMurray Composite High School 9803 King Street, Fort ...

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A fire ban remains in effect for portions of northeastern Alberta and Fort McMurray Forest Area. The fire ban applies to Alberta’s Forest Protection Area in the Fort McMurray Forest Area and portions of the Lac La Biche Forest Area Forest Area and all counties, municipal districts and special areas, as well as provincial parks and recreation areas within those areas. Prohibited: All open fires, including wood campfires, charcoal briquette fires, turkey fryers, and tiki torches Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Restriction Recreational use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) is restricted on all public lands and provincial parks within portions of northeastern Alberta, including designated OHV trails. The restriction does not apply to agriculture, public safety, commercial/industrial or Indigenous peoples when exercising a ...

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As the re-entry process continues, the Municipality has begun an assessment of municipal parks and outdoor recreation facilities. The Public Works Department has started opening parks and outdoor recreation facilities throughout the region for public use, including playgrounds, dog parks, boat launches and tennis courts. Crews have inspected, cleaned and repaired many outdoor recreation facilities, as required, to ensure safe conditions for public use. Any outdoor recreation facility that is deemed unsafe or is located in a restricted area is closed to the public and will remain closed and surrounded by fencing until further notice. Spray parks will remain closed until the boil water advisory has been lifted. In addition, a post-fire wildfire hazard assessment has been completed in unburned ...

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Mayor Melissa Blake, members of Council, and Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management for the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC), participated in a media conference June 3 to provide updates on the re-entry of residents to the Fort McMurray area. You can listen to an audio replay of the event on YouTube.

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The Alberta government, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Wood Buffalo Environmental Association have been testing and monitoring air, ash and water in the region. The monitoring will continue to ensure accurate and up-do-date information is available for residents. Detailed results of this monitoring is being posted on the Government of Alberta website.

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(Fort McMurray, AB – June 3, 2016) – A property visit program is in place for structurally sound homes in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways and destroyed homes in all areas. Destroyed homes in all areas Visitation to destroyed homes outside of restricted areas begins June 5. Visitation to destroyed homes inside of restricted areas (Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways) begins June 8. Visitation is facilitated by Team Rubicon, a disaster response service. Residents must book visits by calling the Pulse line: 780-743-7000. For safety reasons, residents are not permitted to visit destroyed homes on their own Once on site, residents may instruct Team Rubicon where to sift on their behalf. For safety reasons, residents are not permitted into fenced ...

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Effective immediately, the Regional Emergency Operations Centre advises that all hotels, lease properties, work camps and rental accommodation operators must maintain the prices that were in effect on April 30, 2016. This will remain in effect under the Provincial State of Emergency declared on May 4, 2016. Those landlords and property owners that are charging prices above April 30 prices will be investigated and enforcement action will be taken. We will be monitoring this issue closely. We hope that the spirit of goodwill and co-operation associated with the lengthy evacuation will continue as we begin to rebuild our community. Residents with concerns about increases in the cost of services should contact the PULSE line at 1-780-743-7000.

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Bob Couture, the Director of Emergency Management (DEM), will be speaking directly to media on-site in Fort McMurray this afternoon. This is in regards to ensuring residents' safety and discouraging dangerous activity in an emergency situation. A media briefing call will be held at 3:15 p.m. MT today You can listen in to the briefing online by logging in and registering for the audio webcast in advance.

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The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has partnered with Impact Mobile Inc. to provide residents with time-sensitive text message alerts as they return to the municipality in the coming weeks, and as we continue to recover in the coming months. Residents can opt-in to receive these alerts by texting the keyword FORT to 311, (i.e. “FORT” as the message text, and 311 as the mobile #). Standard text rates may apply. If residents opt into this service and would like to stop receiving alerts, text STOP to 311.

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The media conference call originally scheduled for 1 p.m. today has been postponed until tomorrow, June 3. The municipality apologizes for the inconvenience. The media briefing will be held June 3 at 1 p.m. MT. Mayor Melissa Blake and Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management for the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC), will be available at that time. Media will be invited to attend at Fire Hall 5 (200 Airport Road). Stay tuned for updated information on how citizens can listen in online.

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Changes at Information Centres Due to lower volumes than expected, some re-entry centres listed below have been closed. [Learn More] Archive Note: The information below is the original announcement regarding Information Centre hours and locations. Heading back to Wood Buffalo? ALL of the following Information Centres are open to offer you supports and resources including housing options, clean-up kits, utility information, internet access, financial support, insurance information and representatives for public and mental health support and disaster registration services. All centres are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fort McMurray Composite High School 9803 King Street, Fort McMurray (Government of Alberta debit cards available here.) Westwood High School/YMCA 221 Tundra Drive, Fort McMurray (Main Centre #2) ...

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Businesses in the Fort McMurray area were equally impacted by the fires and subsequent evacuation, and they now have a key resource to assist them with their return to the region. The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo with the support of Economic Developers Alberta and the Canadian Red Cross has launched a hotline that will operate 24 hours a day; seven days a week for the first two weeks. Called the Business Recovery Hotline, it is designed to provide business owners access to information resources. It also helps them to identify what their needs are to get their businesses operational after the devastating fire. “We’re committed to business in Wood Buffalo. Our businesses are the backbone of the region. They ...

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To ensure the safety of residents, access to Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways, will be restricted until further notice. Air, soil, and ash testing of affected areas has confirmed the presence of chemicals that are a risk if residents are exposed to them. As a result, all residents located in the re-entry Zone 4b communities of Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways are not permitted to access their homes on the scheduled re-entry date of June 4. Plans are being made to ensure safe and controlled access to these communities. For homes that are structurally sound, residents may have time-limited access on a case by case basis to retrieve personal belongings if they are accompanied by the municipality and are supplied ...

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As a result of the wildfire affecting the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), many municipal services have been interrupted and business owners trying to renew their Business Licenses have not been able to do so. In light of this situation, Planning and Development will be extending the renewal period for all Business Licenses, until municipal services are restored. All business owners will receive a letter in due course outlining the new renewal dates and explaining the application process. If you have questions, please contact Business Licensing at business.licensing@rmwb.ca.

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TAKE NOTICE THAT: STATE OF EMERGENCY - The Urban Service Area of Fort McMurray and the surrounding rural areas of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have suffered extensive damage resulting from the wildfires of May 2016, and they currently remain subject to a declaration of a State of Emergency under the Emergency Management Act; ESSENTIAL SERVICES - Access to essential services is currently limited in the re-entry areas, including without restriction, potable water, sewer, electricity, natural gas and telephone (cellular and land line), as well as police, fire, ambulance and public road access (the “Essential Services”). In the restricted access areas access to Essential Services is currently not available at all. The lack or limited availability of the Essential ...

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Mayor Melissa Blake and Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management for the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) participated in a media conference call today to take questions and discuss the latest developments of the wildfire situation. You can listen to a replay of the call on YouTube.

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Mayor Melissa Blake and Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management for the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC), participated in a conference call with media to take questions and discuss the latest developments of the wildfire situation. You can listen to a replay of the conference on YouTube.

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The Regional Emergency Operations Centre has endorsed Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) recommendation to allow a phased re-entry to the following areas listed below. Assessment work to return the following camps to operations may begin immediately: AOSTRA Road Corridor: Suncor Baseline and MacKay River Camps Brion (all) Camps Birch Mountain Camp Sunshine Camp Production facilities accessed by AOSTRA Road Hwy 63 (South of Fort McMurray) Road Corridor: AOC Hangingstone Great Sand Tiger JACOS Grayling Creek Fire Base Guest occupancy is not permitted until AAF and Alberta Health Services inspections have been completed to ensure safe conditions for occupants. The phased re-entry for all oilsands camps in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is now underway. Please abide by the current ...

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Damage assessments for the 400 Silin Forest Road fires and the Dickinsfield explosion have been completed. RCMP have attempted to contact the occupants of the impacted residences; however they have been unable reach the occupants of each home. Both the fires and the explosion remain under investigation. If you live in either of these areas, please visit firemap.rmwb.ca and click on Status Update tab to confirm the status of your home. Please note that you may have to clear your browser’s cache to view the updated version of the site. Learning that your home has been significantly damaged may be traumatic – Alberta Health Services mental health professionals are available 24 hours per day at 780-370-0182 or 780-792-6378 ...

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The Regional Emergency Operations Centre has endorsed Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s (AAF) recommendation to allow a phased re-entry to the following areas listed below. Assessment work to return the following camps to operations may begin immediately: Nexen Long Lake HML Lodge Gregoire River Nexen Kinosis PTI Kinosis PTI Anzac Surmont Cheecham Lodge Guest occupancy is not permitted until AAF and Alberta Health Services inspections have been completed to ensure safe conditions for occupants. Please abide by the current travel restrictions from the Government of Alberta regarding travel to and from the region. The mandatory evacuation for the Fort McMurray and Anzac areas remains in place.

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An overview of re-entry timelines and maps is now available to support the voluntary, phased re-entry for the safe return of Fort McMurray residents, tentatively scheduled to begin on June 1, so long as wildfire conditions do not delay restoration efforts A number of conditions must be in place before residents will be permitted to return: Wildfire is no longer an imminent threat Critical infrastructure to support essential services is repaired and restored to provide a basic service level. Essential services are restored to basic level, including: Emergency Services (Fire, EMS, Police, 911) Open, safe transportation to, and within, the community (includes traffic controls) Access to emergency medical care and patient transport Access to potable water, electricity and gas Access ...

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Conditions have improved in areas north of Fort McMurray, resulting in the mandatory evacuation order being lifted from the following areas: Millennium Camp Borealis Camp Hudson Camp Noralta Camp Ruth Lake Camp Suncor Base Plant (including ATT) Syncrude Mildred Lake Plant Northbound traffic on Highway 63 remains restricted to essential services only. If you work in these areas, please contact your employer for alternative travel arrangements.

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Mayor Melissa Blake and Bob Couture, Director of Emergency Management for the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC), participated in a conference call with media to take questions and discuss the latest developments of the wildfire situation. You can hear an archive of the conversation now

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Correction as of 8:55 p.m. May 17 – There was an error with regards to the impacted streets in the Dickinsfield explosion, which has been corrected below. We apologize for the error. (Fort McMurray, AB – May 17, 2016) – Last night there was a fire in Thickwood at Silin Forest Road and an explosion in Dickinsfield, impacting several homes. These areas are no longer under immediate threat. Silin Forest fire Three complexes across from Father Mercredi High School were involved – one fourplex was lost and three units were damaged. The fire is under investigation. Dickinsfield explosion There was an explosion in a home on Clenell Crescent, which damaged seven nearby homes on Dickins Drive. This is also ...

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Last night there was a fire in Thickwood at Silin Forest Road and an explosion in Dickinsfield, impacting several homes. These areas are no longer under immediate threat. Silin Forest fire Three complexes across from Father Mercredi were involved – one fourplex was lost and three units were damaged. The fire is under investigation. Dickinsfield explosion There was an explosion in a home on McConachie Crescent, which damaged seven nearby homes. This is also under investigation.

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The evacuation zone has increased north of the city of Fort McMurray due to evolving fire conditions. Several camps are affected by this evacuation. Approximately 8,000 people impacted. The camps include: Ruth Lake Borealis Lodge Millennium Lodge Hudson Mildred Lake As a result of this evacuation, our transportation access has been altered in the region. Hwy 63 southbound remains open. Hwy 63 north of the city limits is closed. Hwy 63 within the city remains open.

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All non-essential employees working outside of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre (REOC) or South Operations Centre (SOC) should muster to MacDonald Island or Fire Hall #5. Map attached.

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As of 2:30 p.m. MT, a fire was heading north to Tower Road. At the present time, it is moving 30-40 metres per minute and is 6 kilometres from Tower Road. We anticipate the fire will hit Tower Road in two hours (as of 3:45 p.m.). This alert affects a number of plants. It includes the camps off of AOSTRA Road, including: Noralta Poplar Creek (Birch) Poplar Creek Lodge Blacksands Baseline Mackay River Brion Dover Brion Ops Corp Camp Brion Construction Camp B STP Mackay Lodge Brion Dover South Base (Thickwood) South Pacific Resources About 4,000 workers are currently being evacuated from these areas. At this time, we are stopping all traffic coming northbound into town. ...

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The Government of Alberta has announced a process to help people recover vehicles abandoned during the Fort McMurray evacuation. Hundreds of vehicles were left along Highway 63 within Fort McMurray and to the north and south of the city. Vehicles were also abandoned on Highway 881. Vehicles abandoned on Highway 63 south of the Highway 63/881 junction may be retrieved by calling Highway 63 Towing & Recovery at 1-877-671-2717. Those vehicles are being stored at the Wandering River yard, roughly 230 kilometres north of Edmonton. Vehicles abandoned on Highway 881 and on Highway 63 north of the Highway 63/881 junction may be retrieved by calling 310-4455. This includes vehicles abandoned on Highway 63 with Fort McMurray urban limits and vehicles ...

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As part of the collaborative response by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency,Canada Task Force 2 (Can-TF2) as deployed to support to the wild fire emergency efforts occurring in the Municipal Region of Wood Buffalo.

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Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Fire Chief Darby Allen signs out temporarily in order to reconnect with family as the response to the Fort McMurray-area wildfires is about to shift to recovery and rebuilding.

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The Regional Emergency Operations Centre has been approached with an enormous number of offers for resources and assistance. We are hugely appreciative of these offers and are working to develop a system to make good on them. To start collecting the offers of assistance we've developed an "Offer of Resources" form that allows us to better understand what is being offered. Those looking to offer resources can help by filling out the form provided in the link below. We'll then assess this information, identify resources needed, and use the information to help coordinate allocation of these resources. Please only submit one form per type of offer - if we require your assistance you will be contacted. We appreciate everyone's patience ...

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RMWB Fire Chief Darby Allen provided an operational update at 1:30 p.m. on May 12 at the RCMP checkpoint south of Fort McMurray on Highway 63.

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Today The Province of Alberta announced the process for distributing financial support to the residents who were evacuated due to the fires around the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Information on eligibility, time and locations can be found on the Alberta emergency website at www.alberta.ca/emergency

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For the past week Fort McMurray and surrounding areas have been under threat from a massive and unprecedented wildfire that saw 80,000 residents evacuated from the area. Responders from Fort McMurray and all across Canada continue to work 24 hours a day to protect the municipality from the out of control wildfire. We, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, are working from our Emergency Operations Centre along with emergency responders to limit the damage and return Fort McMurray and area to normal as quick as we can. We are still here. We are still working to make this community safe with the goal of returning you to your homes as soon as possible so we can begin the rebuilding ...

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Wildfire Rebuild  [Learn more]