Global reporter Fletcher Kent is covering Prime Minister Stephen Harper's tour of the Slave Lake townsite: "PM Stephen Harper in Slave Lake - promising help through disaster assistance programs. Also says immigration exceptions may need to be made for temporary foreign workers who have lost homes and jobs. Thanked emergency workers and offered prayers to those who lost property."
At the request of the Premier of Alberta, the U of A will make available rooms for immediate occupancy if they are required by those temporarily displaced by the fire.
There are presently 59 wildfires in Alberta, 14 of which are out of control. Since the start of April, Alberta has recorded 470 wildfires, which have burned 264,816 hectares.
The following reception or information centres continue to be in operation for residents in need of assistance:
Westlock Community Hall, 9903-106 Street (www.westlock.ca, tel. 780-349-8744)
Athabasca Multiplex, #2 University Drive (tel. 780-675-2967)
Edmonton Expo Centre, 7515-118 Avenue (www.edmonton.ca, tel. 311)
High Prairie, Gordon Buchanan Center, 5403-49 Street (tel. 780-523-3388)
Grande Prairie, Muskoseepi Park Pavilion, 102 Street and 102 Avenue (tel. 780-538-0451) - this site is an information centre only
Peace River, Misery Mountain Ski Hill, 10408-89 Street (tel. 780-624-4881)
Wabasca, MD Hall, 910 Stoney Point Road (tel. 780-891-3302)
Valleyview, Memorial Hall, 4804 - 50 Street
Travel in and around Slave Lake continues to be restricted for safety reasons:
Highway 2 is closed west of Slave Lake from Highway 33 to the Town
Highway 2 is closed east of Slave Lake from the East Mitsue Access into the Town
Highway 88 is closed north of Slave Lake up to Highway 986, located south of Red Earth Creek
Highway 750 is closed from the Gift Lake Access to Highway 88
Visibility on Highway 63 up to and north of Fort McMurray remains good.
There are no wildfire disruptions on Highways 63 or 881
Wildfire Road Closure Hotline: 780-644-5653 (to call toll-free, first dial 310-0000).
Many Albertans are keen to help those affected by the Slave Lake fire. At this time, charitable organizations are asking Albertans to donate cash rather than goods, as this will help them to address the immediate needs of displaced residents. A temporary fire victim call centre for household donations begins operations on Saturday, May 21 at 10 a.m. The Non-Government Organization (NGO) Council of Alberta will connect the donated household items with the locations where they are most needed. To reach the donation line, call 780-482-7867. The donation line will operate between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. between Saturday, May 21 and Monday, May 23. The call centre will decide whether to continue operations after the long weekend.
STARS responding to reports of a helicopter crash near Slave Lake. More to come...
June 4th at City Centre Church, 10233 Jasper ave.12pm- 10pm.10 bands 10 hours, $10. All moneys raised to go to Slave Lake! Bring a household item, hygiene products, non-perishable food, or clothing gets you in also.12 and under free, alcohol free event! Slave Lake residents are free with id!
Some of the hypothermic rescuers are confirmed to be Calgary firefighters.
RCMP will be holding a press conference in 15 minutes to update the helicopter crash situation.
We'll be live streaming the RCMP press conference live on the blog.