Cooler temperatures and rain have helped in the fight against wildfires in the Whitecourt region.
While the fire hazard remains very high and firefighting crews continue to work, the communities of Fox Creek, Swan Hills, Little Smoky and Yellowhead County have all downgraded evacuation orders, and local residents have been allowed to go home. The special air quality statement for the region has ended.
Over the last three weeks, Whitecourt provided evacuation assistance to over 3,000 residents who were displaced due to wildfires. The reception centre at the Allan & Jean Millar Centre was opened on May 6, and officially closed May 25. The reception centre acted not only as the registration centre to account for those forced to leave their home, but also became the hub for a variety of social support services and information for evacuees.
“In many interviews I was asked about the outpouring of support by Whitecourt residents and businesses to those displaced,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Tom Pickard. “I responded that the community of Whitecourt has always stepped up and that is why we live here.”
The Town of Whitecourt is grateful for all the sponsors, donors, partners and volunteers that provided their time and support to the evacuees.
The Town of Whitecourt will continue to monitor the wildfire situation throughout the region. Daily updates from the Province can be viewed online at https://srd.web.alberta.ca/whitecourt-area-update.
Residents are reminded that the fire ban and OHV ban remains in effect for the Town of Whitecourt and surrounding Whitecourt Forest Protection Area. Details on the ban can be found at on the Whitecourt website at www.whitecourt.ca/live/public-safety/emergency-management.