Reception centre for wildfire evacuees opens in Calgary
The City of Calgary has opened a reception centre for those who have been displaced by the wildfires blazing across central and northern Alberta.
The reception centre for evacuees, and pets that may be with them, is set up at the grandstand building at Stampede Park. It will connect them to accommodations and other resources like mental health supports. Accommodations are being provided by city hotels and at Stampede Park.
About 30,000 Albertans have had to leave their homes. As of Monday morning, the situation across the province remains volatile with 100 active wildfires, including 27 that are burning out of control.
"We know this is a difficult time for the province as thousands of people are evacuated from their homes across the province," said Sue Henry, chief of the Calgary Emergency Management Agency.
Henry said the emergency operations centre is open and the municipal emergency plan has been activated "in support of our neighbours across the province."
As the areas affected by the fires are not within the City of Calgary's jurisdiction, staff are on standby with resources should they be called upon, she said.
Firefighting help sent from Calgary
The Calgary Fire Department deployed three fire engines and 27 personnel — 26 of whom are firefighters — to the Grande Prairie area on Monday.
"This does not impact front-line service delivery to Calgarians, and we will continue to maintain our existing service levels and deployment models for the time being," said Peter Steenaerts, deputy chief of the Calgary Fire Department.
Steenaerts says the crews that have been sent are off-duty crews and part of their reserve plan.
As of Sunday, Canada Task Force 2 — the province's all hazards response team — has deployed 13 personnel to help with the wildfire situation.
One team was deployed to Parkland Country, the other to the High Level area, and are assisting at the emergency operations centres and incident command posts.
The city is asking that evacuees register online through the province's emergency registration system. Evacuees in need of income supports can call 1-866-644-5135, select option 4.
The reception centre at the Stampede Grandstand, 2200 Stampede Trail S.E., is open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Parking is free for those accessing the facility.