County, FCSS and ESS ready to provide assistance

Today 700 hamburgers and buns along with a pallet of water was delivered by County Staff to help people in Wandering River and Grassland. (Photo) – Jordan Foy of Athabasca County assists Canadian Tire employee Justin Kendell to load a pallet of bottled water.

ATHABASCA, AB  –  Athabasca County has remained in regular contact with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency’s Provincial Operations Centre since Fort McMurray and area was evacuated due to wildfire yesterday. We are ready to provide support when called upon.

As of this morning, there are two Emergency Reception Centres designated for evacuees to register:  The Bold Center in Lac La Biche and Northlands (Expo Centre) in Edmonton. All activities surrounding the opening of reception centres are coordinated by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency. As of Wednesday morning the Athabasca Regional Multiplex had not been authorized to open as a reception centre.

Athabasca County Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is on-call to travel and relieve workers in Lac La Biche at the Bold Center. There they will help to provide a range of services to those displaced by the wildfire. Emergency Social Services (ESS) staff have also been in contact with reception centres in Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche to offer help.

Athabasca County is also helping people laid over in Wandering River and Grassland. Food and refreshments are being taken to both of those communities to share with evacuees as they make their way to either of the reception centres. In Athabasca, we are assisting a community group that has opened the Agri-plex and is providing evacuees with snacks, refreshments and a rest stop.

In addition, Athabasca County’s Fire and Rescue Departments remain ready to contribute to the firefighting effort, and are assisting with any emergencies that may occur due to the increase in traffic along area highways. Equipment and manpower has been offered to assist with the firefighting efforts in Fort McMurray.

Administrative Assistance has also been given to TransCanada Pipelines to help them register evacuees who are staying at a camp located just outside the Hamlet of Wandering River. TransCanada opened 250 beds in their Wandering River facility last night for evacuees.

Athabasca County will remain in regular contact with agencies and groups in the area and assist where we can. We will provide updates to this changing situation when new information becomes available.