Current and Archived News Stories
By Sharmilla Reid/ADRA Canada
|Plumes of smoke from the Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfire spread through the surrounding area.
Photo by Greg Davis
May 4, 2016: The entire population of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, along with the surrounding areas, were evacuated as a wildfire spreads. The fire, not yet contained, is more than 85,000 hectares (about 210,040 acres) in size, and approximately 50 percent of the city has already been destroyed. A state of emergency was declared.
Some people have been able to make it to Edmonton; others were forced to take shelter in work camps to the north of Fort McMurray. There have been no reports of any deaths or injuries in the fire , but authorities stated that fatalities were reported in at least one vehicle crash along the evacuation route.
|ACS volunteers are helping Fort McMurray residents who evacuated due to a wildfire that has destroyed 50 percent of the city thus far.
Photo supplied by the Alberta Conference
The Alberta Conference reports on their website and Facebook page that they have received "confirmation from individuals who were able to drive by the Fort McMurray Seventh-day Adventist Church that it appears to be intact."ADRA Canada and the Alberta Conference of Seventh-day Adventists are offering assistance to the displaced, using a jointly purchased disaster response vehicle that has been filled with supplies to be delivered to those affected by this disaster. Local Alberta churches are providing volunteers. The Edmonton South Seventh-day Adventist Church will be hosting people in their facility, and have set up a donation center for toiletries and good quality used clothing. Local Adventist families have also opened their homes to the displaced.
ADRA Canada has partnered with GlobalMedic to send hygiene kits containing toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, and towels to 2,000 people. The assistance will continue during this crisis — and in the coming days of recovery.
In a statement on May 4, Mark Johnson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with all whose lives are impacted by the fires there. We continue to monitor reports regarding the well-being of our Adventist families in the community.”
Help is needed! Please make a donation to ADRA Canada’s Emergency Relief fund at http://www.adra.ca/donate/. Your prayers and support are appreciated.
NOTICE: If a local Seventh-day Adventist church would like to organize a response initiative for the Fort McMurray disaster, please contact the Alberta Conference Adventist Community Services (ACS) director for information and direction at (587) 877-9793.
— Troy McQueen, Alberta Conference communication director, contributed to this report.
|This satellite photo shows where the wildfire is burning in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.
Photo from NASA