Campus encouraged to support fire victims

Chris Schwarz // Government of Alberta

A member of Wildfire Management Alberta's Wild Mountain Unit out of Hinton, hoses down hotspots in the Parsons Creek area of Fort McMurray on Friday, May 5.

As the tally of damage from the devastating Alberta fires becomes more apparent, Western officials are encouraging university community members to consider supporting recovery efforts through the Red Cross Emergency Fires Appeal.

“Our thoughts are with all Albertans, including our Western alumni, family and friends who have been impacted by this disaster,” said Gitta Kulczycki, Vice-President (Resources & Operations). “The support of fellow Canadians will play an important role in the long-term recovery of this area.”

As of this morning, the numbers remained staggering:

  • A total of 25 wildfires are burning – one out of control, one being held, 17 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties. There were two new starts yesterday;
  • There are 1,547 firefighters, 121 helicopters, 194 pieces of heavy equipment and 28 air tankers battling the fires;
  • Two fires in the Fort McMurray area have joined. The Fort McMurray wildfire is now roughly 229,000 hectares; and
  • The wildfire is approximately 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan boundary.