“Ten minutes in the town and it was black," said volunteer firefighter Wayne Bacon. "You couldn’t see. People were going out of town like crazy. All four highways were closed. Finally they let us all get out."
"The town is gone," one woman sobbed. "There's nothing left. There's places where there should have been houses, and they're gone. We lost everything."
If anyone is able to help, here are some ways to do so:
TWITTER: Check the hashtags "#slavelakefires", "#slavelakefire", "#slavelake" and "#Wildfire". People are checking in to ask for assistance and offer help every minute. Many have already found places to stay, families willing to allow their yards to be camping areas, and many many mothers parting with children's items for the misplaced families. And don't forget the Edmonton hashtag "#yeg".
FACEBOOK: Slave Lake and Community Message Board is connecting people through Facebook. People are suggesting items the residents may need, offering places to stay, and alerting people as to what items they are willing to donate (baby clothes, food, blankets, etc.)
ALBERTA WILDFIRES LIVE is a live blog that is updating the situation in real time.
RED CROSS ALBERTA is taking donations via Twitter as well as their website for Slave Lake disaster relief. Their phone number is 1-800-418-1111.
FOR INFORMATION ON LOVED ONES call 1-800-565-4483.
WILDFIRE ROAD CLOSURE HOTLINE: 780-644-5653.
EDMONTON EMERGENCY RELIEF accepting slavelake donations starting at 10AM at 10255 104 Street. Unopened toiletries, clean bedding/towels.
If you have friends or family in Slave Lake who were medical patients - Call Alberta Health Service at 1-866-301-2668 to locate them.
Thanks for reading.
- Athabasca shelter full. All asked to head to Edmonton.
- town office, provincial building, Sawridge Mall, RMS School, Catholic church, Radio 97, Scope Newspaper, possibly SL Ford... ALL GONE. 12:06pm
- Mayor confirms hospital and school still standing, though damaged
- CTV Reporter Sean Amato also believes that the Sawridge Hotel and the college are also untouched
- Wildfire information officer also says they are expecting additional wildfires to be ignited due to lightning
- Stretches of following hwys closed: 2 east and west of slavelake, 88 north of slave, 750 from hwy 679-hwy 88
- AB Sustainable Resource and Development says 39 of the 116 wildfires currently burning in AB are burning out of control
- SOUTH OF THE HIGHWAY IS UNTOUCHED.
- All are being asked to go to the EXPO CENTRE in Edmonton. There is food, water, cots, and counseling. 12:35pm
- If you need to direct someone to important numbers for Slave Lake, the site is: http://proudtobealberta.ca/2011/05/slave-lake-fire/
- Aerial view of Slave Lake:
- FACEBOOK PAGE UPDATED WITH THE MOST URGENTLY NEEDED ITEMS: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=115084005244550
- Video of Slave Lake:
- Friend just tweeted "About 28 kms from #SlaveLake and just spotting the first plumes of smoke.."
- A Provincial emergency hotline has been set up: call 780-310-4455
- Water bombers and helicopters fly over #slavelake - smoke still billowing from almost every angle...
- Stelmach to arrive in Slave Lake within the hour
- Downtown core still appears to be intact near college at #slavelake
- Stelmach arrives in Slave Lake 1:41pm:
- Mayor of Slave Lake: http://www.globaltvedmonton.com/video/index.html?releasePID=CVfZceIQ9vnfjkILlRLzgBIQaHMHyywK
- 9 Street and 7 Avenue in #SlaveLake - Not much left of this neighbourhood:
- Apparently, the legion hall in Westlock is FULL and not taking any more donations at this time.
- AHS has issued an air quality advisory for Northern Alberta due to numerous wildfires
- Website created to help those misplaced by the terrible fires: http://www.rebuildslavelake.com/
- All banks safe. Rumour that Bank of Nova Scotia burned down unfounded. No banks lost.
- Now they are saying only 30% of town destroyed; better than the 50% they had estimated earlier.
- Slave Lake is low on gas and parts have been without power.
- There are now unconfirmed reports of looting in the area.
- Around 70 firefighters from the Edmonton area as well as 200 from B.C. and Ontario are expected to help fight the wind-whipped wildfires over the next few days.
- MAP OF ALBERTA WILDFIRES:
- Slave Lake Fire and Aftermath, pictures from a Facebook page dedicated to cause: