The City of Cold Lake has sent an additional five Cold Lake Fire-Rescue members and another fleet vehicle with firefighting equipment to the Wood Buffalo-Fort McMurray area. The additional resources will augment the personnel and assets the City already has contributed to efforts, bringing the total contribution to 10 Fire-Rescue Members, one pumper truck and two fleet vehicles with additional firefighting equipment.
The additional crew will allow the pumper truck to run longer shifts as the efforts to battle the wildfire continue.
Cold Lake’s contribution was undertaken after a review of all available resources and the resources needed to maintain effective service in the City of Cold Lake.
The Cold Lake RCMP Detachment is also sending an additional four members to the area, bringing the total number from the local detachment to seven.
*Statement from the City of Cold Lake
The City of Cold Lake remains in contact with the agencies coordinating the response to the wildfires and stands ready to help when requested.
While the situation surrounding wildfire evacuees from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo remains fluid, the City of Cold Lake is monitoring what resources it can bring to bear if requested by the Government of Alberta’s provincial operation centre.
“It is important that responses in these situations be carefully coordinated or you run into bottlenecks and duplication of efforts,” Jeff Fallow, the City’s Fire-Chief and Manager of Protective Services said. “Alberta Emergency Management requested fire services support yesterday and that was provided. We are attempting to anticipate what further assistance we may be called upon to provide and take steps to ensure it can be deployed quickly.”
Lines of communication have been opened between the County of Lac La Biche and the City of Cold Lake in case the County is in need of assistance in its efforts. A reception centre for evacuees has been established at the Bold Centre in Lac La Biche.
“The City had experience last year setting up a reception shelter and we are well aware of the challenges involved so we are readying to help – or to stand up our own reception centre if need be,” Fallow said. “It’s important to remember that help is only provided once it’s requested to ensure all efforts are coordinated.”
Individuals who want to help can donate money to the Canadian Red Cross. A number of social media sites and websites are also attempting to match people in need of shelter with people who have shelter available.
*Press Release from the City of Cold Lake