The Current

'Be patient': Advice for rebuilding Fort McMurray from wildfire survivors

The people of Fort McMurray are determined to rebuild and come back. But it's a daunting challenge. Hard to even think about as the wildfire still burns. The Current hears from others who have rebuilt in Slave Lake, Alta. and Kelowna, B.C.
Officials say they are now water bombing the city of Fort McMurray to keep it from being overwhelmed by flames. (HO-Twitter-RCMP Alberta/The Canadian Press)

Read story transcript

As the wildfire still burns, the daunting challenge lingers for those evacuees wanting to come back to their community and build a future. But the people of Fort McMurray are determined to rebuild and come back.

The long, hard road to rebuild and recover from a devastating wildfire is a road that others have travelled.

In 2011, wildfire destroyed 40 per cent of Slave Lake, Alta. Residents of Slave Lake say they understand the emotional despair watching a community disappear in an instant. 

But there is hope. The Current called on others who have rebuilt their communities in Slave Lake, Alta., and Kelowna, B.C. to share their advice and support on how to look forward. 

Guests in this segment:

  • Mark Missal, town councillor in Slave Lake, Alta., who lost his home in 2011 after a wildfire engulfed that community.
  • Nicola Ramsey, Slave Lake resident who helped fundraise more than $125,000 for her community. 
  • Ron Mattiussi, city manager for Kelowna, B.C., in charge of emergency operations. 

Listen Monday for a special edition of The Current.

Anna Maria will be in Alberta to share stories of people coping after they've fled Fort McMurray, and to get the latest on firefighting efforts.

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry, Sarah Grant and Lara O'Brien.