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20,000 more people expected to return to Fort McMurray today

After almost a month since the residents of Fort McMurray were evacuated, day two of re-entry is underway today. Executive Director of Alberta Emergency Management Agency Scott Long says after the completion of day one yesterday, there were around 8 thousand people who returned home of the possible 13 thousand.

“Today 40,000 people are eligible to voluntarily return to zone two. Based on traffic flow so far this morning and what we saw yesterday, we expect approximately 20,000 people will come back to their communities today.”

Zone two includes Parsons Creek, Stone Creek, Timberlea, Eagel Ridge and Dickinsfield. ATCO gas re-serviced over 1,000 homes yesterday and are present in the communities to help bring gas back to homes when people move in.

Chad Morrison with Alberta Wildfire explains that firefighters need to have a safe environment to continue to fight the over 580,000 hectare fire which means the air space above the fire is still restricted. He says they have had reports of drones in the air.

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“You know anything that can get caught in the rotors and cause damages. It’s not just a bird strike right. It can be quite serious and cause aircraft to fail. We had one initial report. Often they are used for aerial photography and that sort of thing but there is authorized providers that can do that”

He says the charge for being caught can be around $25,000.

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