Almost five years after a massive wildfire forced the evacuation of Fort McMurray, Alta., the northeastern Alberta oilsands hub is in another state of emergency.
The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes the city of Fort McMurray, has seen a recent surge in COVID-19 cases that has strained the local hospital.
Mayor Don Scott, speaking at a news conference on the fifth anniversary of the blaze, says his community is the toughest he’s ever seen and it has always bounced back after challenges.
He says he knows this time of year can be tough on residents as memories come flooding back of the wildfire that destroyed thousands of homes.
Rebuild continues 3 years after Fort McMurray wildfire01:51 Rebuild continues 3 years after Fort McMurray wildfire 01:54 Former Wood Buffalo fire chief reflects on Canada’s largest wildfire evacuation 01:27 Update on Fort McMurray wildfire recovery 02:02 Final Fort McMurray wildfire report indicates misunderstanding over seriousness of threat 02:03 Poor communications hindered Fort McMurray fire response 04:37 Firefighters reflect 1 year after Fort McMurray wildfire: ‘individual actions saved the majority of this town’ 01:10 Fort McMurray resident recalls fleeing wildfire with daughters on horseback
On the pandemic front, Scott says he’s grateful that vaccines will soon be offered to those aged 30 and older in the region, which has a young population.
He says he’d also like to see mobile clinics and shots being given at oilsands sites north of the city.01:48 Global News Hour at 6 Edmonton Wood Buffalo mayor meets with health officials seeking additional support 02:05 Global News Hour at 6 Edmonton Fort McMurray residents struggle with high COVID-19 case numbers 04:41 AHS State of local emergency to be declared in Fort McMurray area amid high COVID-19 cases