Wild Fires in Fort McMurray
On May 1, 2016, a wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray, Alberta. On May 3, it swept through the community, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history. Personnel from the Canadian military, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as well as firefighting forces from Alberta, other Canadian provincial agencies, and South Africa responded to the wildfire. Aid for evacuees was provided by various governments and via donations through the Canadian Red Cross and other local and national charitable organizations.
After sweeping through Fort McMurray, the wildfire destroyed approximately 2,400 homes and buildings. Another 2,000 residents in three communities were displaced after their homes were declared unsafe for reoccupation due to contamination. It continued to spread across northern Alberta and into Saskatchewan, consuming forested areas and impacting Athabasca oil sands operations. It is the costliest disaster in Canadian history.
The fire spread across approximately 590,000 hectares (1,500,000 acres) before it was declared to be under control on July 5, 2016. It continues to smoulder, and may not be fully extinguished until the spring of 2017.
RE/MAX Elite and it’s agents stepped up to the plate. In 2016 after the wildfires started, Elite agents raised $10,000 in a very short period of time. The donation was generously matched by the Elite Ownership group – Paul Blais, Marcel Tessier and John Matiello and a $20,000 donation was made to the Canadian Red Cross to help out the families who were displaced by the costliest Canadian disaster to date.