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Wildfire evacuees receive financial aid from province

It was a feeling of optimism, as 600 wildfire evacuees lined up at the GPRC registration centre Monday morning to collect a one-time payment from the provincial government. The $1,200 per adult, and $500 per each additional dependant was announced last week, as the mandatory evacuation order stretches into its second week.

Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard, who joined Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu at the college says the mood of those in line was not one of doom and gloom.

“It’s a little bit sombre but mostly I think I would say it’s hopeful. There was one man telling jokes up and down the line, he was providing great comic relief. I would say it’s a positive mood down there hopeful for the next few days that we will get some rain.”

The latest update from Alberta Wildfire has the High Level fire at 127,000 hectares, with variable winds and hot temperatures continuing to fuel the out of control blaze. Allard says many of the lessons learned from the Fort McMurray fire has helped the new government better allocate resources this time around.

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“They had a lot of directives after Fort McMurray specifically, that have really helped to inform and streamline this process. Things like taking care of pets, contemplating health issues, immediate evacuation orders versus delayed evacuation orders. Just protocols for things to keep people as safe as possible.”

A website has been set up for those who wish to donate to those currently evacuated from the High Level wildfire area.

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