Sunday, June 19, 2011

Don't Forget About Slave Lake!

"In all the years I've been doing this job, I haven't seen anything with this kind of speed and devastation."
- Len MacCharles, incident commander

"When you first see the devastation, it's a numbing feeling. It's going to take some time to get our community back."
- Slave Lake Mayor Pillay-Kinee

As we hear less and less in the traditional media about the efforts ongoing in Slave Lake, Alberta, I wanted to remind everyone that much help is still needed there. The Canadian Red Cross has committed to the recovery process for the next two years and you can help fund that support for the residents of Slave Lake with a financial donation (some agency's will continue to take material donations as well).

On May 15th 2011 a wildfire, fueled by winds of up to 150km, burned through the northern town of Slave Lake, destroying 40% of the town. 374 homes were destroyed and another 52 were damaged. The province declared a level four emergency – the highest on its scale - and more than 7000 people fled in an immediate evacuation, leaving everything behind. After 10 days some people were allowed to come back, but many still can not.

A month after the fire there is still much work to be done in Slave Lake. The Red Cross is still registering people and last I heard there were 200 families that the town had not yet re-connected with. Thank you for keeping Slave Lake in your thoughts as the recovery process continues.

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