Out-of-control wildfires in Canada force all 20000

Out-of-control wildfires in Canada force all 20000

After harrowing journeys through smoke and flames, evacuees from Yellowknife
are arriving in Alberta. Yesterday there was so many uncertainties so like my
group of friends we just got together and we decided that hey we gotta go.
Everything is devastating but all we can do is pray. Oh my god. Their journey
about 700 kilometers, part of which through an active fire. High-level, the
first community providing respite. An evacuation center set up in a sports
complex. As soon as they’ve seen those cots get to the door it’s like okay
everyone we need to get everyone together. We need to set up these cots. We need a blanket and
pillow and we got to get back on the phone with the caterers to get the food
ordered. Calgary is among the other cities also preparing for arrivals,
activating an emergency plan, committing to take up to 5,000 people. Initially we
are looking at hotels and other spaces that are usable before we get to opening
reception centers. You know we’re not at that spot yet. Just outside of Edmonton
the city of Leduc is already seeing evacuees arrive. We’re seeing people from
Yellowknife and from everywhere in the Northwest Territory so whoever shows up
here we will try to accommodate them for as long as we can. Just outside high-level
a community is forming. Dozens of evacuees who fled Hay River and Paradise
Gardens setting up RVs and tents on a friend’s property dubbing it the
evacuation commune. Are you guys hanging today? Kevin Wallington who came here
from Hay River is helping with the logistics. My desire is to run back in
and to be there to help and so I’ve had to come to terms with the role that I
need to play is here. Those who have escaped the immediate danger already
anxious about what will remain when they’re able to return home. Even if
things come back green again, things grow up, you’re still gonna have
that reminder these dead trees standing in amongst the forest and a reminder
that that this happened and that it’s changed our community we don’t in ways
that we don’t know yet right. We’ll find out in the years to come.
So Madeline, as exhausted people pull in there what are they being told to expect?
Well for the most part evacuees who are coming by car are being told to find
their own accommodations largely. There aren’t a lot of free hotel spaces in
this town. There are reception centers being set up in other parts of the
province but they’re quite far away so for tired folks coming into this parking
lot if they want to find a bed they’re gonna have to drive for more hours to
find it and I’ve spoken with a lot of people here who say they’ve already
found friends and family in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer so I’m hearing
that’s where the most folks are headed. There are also some campgrounds that are
opening up and there may be more reception centers opening in other
communities in the coming days.
What an exhausting journey. All right Madeline Cummings in
high-level Alberta, thank you.

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