Local firefighters deployed to Slave Lake area to assist with battling wildfires
The Town of Stony Plain has sent firefighters and a fire truck to assist with wildfires burning near the town of Slave Lake, Alta.
The Alberta Emergency Management Agency (AEMA) contacted the Town last Sun. evening (May 15) – moments after the out-of-control blaze crossed Town boundaries.
Five firefighters left Stony Plain the next morning, picking up another five-member crew from Parkland County on-route and arriving in Slave Lake around 12:10 pm.
Upon arrival, both crews were immediately deployed to the Hamlet of Chisholm, located approximately 30 km south of Slave Lake, to assist Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) with providing structural protection in that location. The firefighters have also been conducting assessments and providing structural protection near Canyon Creek (north shore of Lesser Slave Lake), and been actively fighting some fires within the affected communities.
On Wed., May 18, the Town sent a replacement crew to relieve the first group of firefighters, who have worked long hours – late into the night.
More than 120 firefighters from across the province, including about 70 from the Capital region, have helped the 40 firefighters from the Slave Lake Fire Department.
Officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for Slave Lake last Sun. evening. Driven by strong winds, wildfires engulfed most of the town from the south. By Mon. morning, nearly all 7,000 residents had been safely evacuated, taking up shelter in Athabasca, Westlock and Edmonton, the Province reported.
The fire destroyed or damaged about 40 per cent of the community, including the town hall, the public library, the local radio station, several businesses and hundreds of homes.
Stony Plain citizens who wish to provide assistance to people affected by Alberta wildfire(s) are encouraged to give monetary donations to the Canadian Red Cross (www.redcross.ca or 1.800.565.4483) or the Salvation Army (www.salvationarmy.ca or 1.800.725.2769). The Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society (EERSS) has established a donation drop-off centre at the Spruce Grove Walmart. Emergency supplies (bedding, unopened toiletries and towels) can also be dropped off at the EERSS Centre in Edmonton (10255-104 Street; www.eerss.ca or 780.428.4422).
Anyone seeking information about family and friends in the Slave Lake area can call the Canadian Red Cross at
1-800-565-4483. At the time of this release, there were 100 wildfires burning in Alberta, 22 of which were listed as out-of-control. For wildfire updates and information, visit www.srd.alberta.ca/wildfire.
About the Town of Stony Plain Fire Department
The Stony Plain Fire Department is responsible for providing the Stony Plain citizens and a portion of Parkland County with fire suppression and rescue services. The Department is comprised of three full-time staff and 40 volunteer firefighters. Additional activities carried out by the department include fire inspections, medical aid response, fire prevention programs within schools and service groups and fire investigations.