(Featured image credit: @TerryReithCBC)
A long time back, I created an updates category on my blog for content completely unrelated to business.
And up until now, I haven’t had occasion to use it.
A massive forest fire is burning parts of Fort McMurray, the heart of Alberta’s oil sands industry, and tens of thousands have evacuated their homes to escape the flames.
All of Fort McMurray was given a mandatory evacuation order at 6:20 p.m. local time on Tuesday. A total of close to 100,000 people in Fort McMurray and the surrounding municipality have fled their homes.
In a press conference on Tuesday Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said it is the largest wildfire evacuation in the history of the province. She advised residents to follow directions and evacuate the area calmly.
On Wednesday morning, the municipality of Wood Buffalo, which encompasses Fort McMurray, issued a damage assessment that said three neighborhoods were severely damaged, with one losing 80 percent of homes.
We’re talking about the displacement of roughly 100,000 people.
Homes, communities, businesses, and natural resources destroyed.
The images posted as residents evacuate are nothing less than terrifying:
— Holly Ayearst (@hollerslyfe) May 4, 2016
— Michel Gosselin (@MGBlastroid) May 4, 2016
You can find more images, videos and updates on Twitter by following these hashtags:
At present, the Canadian Red Cross needs financial support to help those affected by the fires. In fact, they as much as directly told me so last night:
— Brent Jones (@brentjonline) May 4, 2016
So today, I am asking you to give generously to the Canadian Red Cross.
UPDATE / May-5-2016 / The federal government announced it will match all individual donations made to the Canadian Red Cross in support of Fort McMurray fire victims.
Even if you only feel you can spare $1 — then please, donate that $1.
As the saying goes, every little bit helps.
But in the meantime, I wanted to publish this update and ask for your help and support.
It would mean a lot to me, but it would mean even more to the folks — including a friend of mine — in Fort McMurray, Alberta.