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Sunday marks four year anniversary of 2016 Horse River Wildfire

PHOTO. Firefighters and police welcome people into Fort McMurray Alta, on Wednesday June 1, 2016. Premier Rachel Notley and her government paid tribute Monday to those who came to Alberta's aid and rescue during the spring's devastating Fort McMurray wildfire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Sunday marks four years since around 88,000 people evacuated Fort McMurray as a wildfire threatened the city.

Mayor Don Scott encouraged anyone struggling around the anniversary of the 2016 Horse River Wildfire to reach out and ask for help or seek out mental health and wellness resources.

He also noted the resilience of our community.

“The recent river breakup flood has reminded me of the incredible generosity of our residents. That generosity was on display on that evacuation day four years ago, where neighbour helped neighbour, and it continues today.”

Scott also acknowledged those who are still battling with an insurance provider and those who have a rebuild that didn’t go according to plan.

CAO Jamie Doyle encouraged residents to express their thanks to a member of municipal staff or a first responder.

Between COVID-19 and the recent flooding, Doyle said staff have spent a significant amount of time in the municipality’s emergency operations centre this year.

“Like May 3 four years ago, these emergency responses can be incredibly stressful on our staff, particularly if they have been directly impacted as a resident. I would like to express my sincerest thanks to our staff for their dedication and acknowledge their hard work and the sacrifice they are making to serve our residents.”

The wildfire, also known as The Beast, took 15 months to fully extinguish.

It destroyed 2,579 properties and is the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history.