Loading articles...

Two years post wildfire, 20% of homes rebuilt

PHOTO. RMWB Mayor Don Scott and Fire Chief Jody Butz call on residents to petition local MLAs and Health Minister Tyler Shandro asking for the reversal of Alberta's decision to consolidate emergency dispatch services across the province. MYMCMURRAY/File.

It has been two years since ‘The Beast’ forced the entire community to evacuate and destroyed 2,579 properties.

The latest stats from the RMWB show that 80 per cent of residents still aren’t back in their homes.

“I think when the municipality was forecasting where we would be, we are on pace with where we anticipated the community to be,” said Mayor Don Scott. “I always want more, I am never going to be satisfied until everyone is back in their homes.”

Approximately 56 per cent of destroyed homes have started with foundation work. The municipality anticipates 1000 rebuilds to be complete by the end of the year.

“Somethings are out of our control, but that is 1000 families back in their homes and we think that is a realistic number and we are on pace for that,” added Scott.

Mayor Scott said they decided on a low-key event to commemorate the second anniversary after hearing that many people want to move on.

“I think a lot of people are reflecting. The fire will always be a part of our history, but we are all looking toward the future in this region,” added Scott.

Regional Emergency Services and the RMWB said they remain committed to implementing the 14 recommendations from the KPMG report that came out last year regarding the wildfire.