www.rebuildslavelake.com - The Latest - Blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Site Moved

Hey everyone - my kick ass followers, just to let you know the site has moved permanently, same address, but you can follow there as well, as I still have a blog. I won't be updating this blog any longer. THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT TIMES A MILLION


Donation Location

Donation location announcement coming within the next 48 hours - stay tuned. Hint: Its in Edmonton, other hint: I don't have one, thats all I know lol!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Red Robin is Fundraising

Anyone who has seen pictures, watched the news, has loved ones or even just spoken to someone who has been affected by this tragedy knows how terrible the situation is for those from Slave Lake. We at Red Robin are trying to do our part in helping to rebuild and support this community.

On Tuesday May 31st Red Robin will be donating $1 from every burger sold to the rebuilding effort in Slave Lake.

Come down to any of our four Edmonton locations, order your favorite burger and help us rebuild a town!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

School Update

Thanks to the Slave Lake Community Message Board for this...
**SCHOOL UPDATE** Parents are asked to contact the schools to advise whether their children will be returning to class for the rest of the year. There is a staff meeting being held on Tuesday regarding Operations of the Schools, more info will be released after that meeting. Please see http://www.hpsd48.ab.ca/hpfiles/DisasterWebNotice.pdf?0.7980527752384645 for contact numbers and additional information

An Update from the Government

In the Lesser Slave Area the fire hazard is EXTREME. Please use extreme caution when working or playing in the forest. In anticipation of new wilfire starts, additional firefighters and firefighting resources will be put on alert.


Sustainable Resource Development would like to welcome residents back to the Slave Lake. What can you expect to see or smell when you return home?
You may see smouldering fires and firefighters working near homes.
These fires are contained, what does that mean?
Although you may see smouldering spots in the area, the fire boundaries aren't expected to grow. Firefighters are monitoring these areas and are working to extinguish these spots.
Use caution when calling 310-FIRE (3473) to report smokes as false alarms draw much needed firefighting resources away from new wildfire starts.

Residents who have returned to Slave Lake are reminded to stay away from the forested areas where the fire has burnt. There are many dangerous hazards in these areas, so please steer clear to ensure your safety and the safety of the firefighters working in the area.

Wildfire Update

Slave Lake Fire - This wildfire is 100 per cent contained, meaning it has received sufficient firefighting action and will not grow. It remains 4,559 hectares in size. Expect to see some smoke around the area, mainly between Highway 2 and 88. Heavy equipment and firefighters will be working in that area to extinguish deep burning ground fire.

South Shore Fire This wildfire is 100 per cent contained, meaning it has received sufficient firefighting action and will not grow. It is 18,939 hectares in size. Today, firefighters saw smoke in areas that were well in the fire boundary. Firefighters and helicopters worked on extinguishing the smouldering fires in these areas.

Gift Lake Fire (Fire 080) The wildfire located south of Gift Lake is 100 per cent contained. Firefighters continued to extinguished smouldering fires within the fire perimeter. It is 2, 238 hectares in size.

Please call 310-4455 toll free for information on wildfires, evacuations, road closures and fire bans. For updates on the wildfires, check out the Alberta Wildfire Info page on Facebook

For infomation on the wildfires in Slave Lake, Gift Lake and Red Earth call 1-866-916-INFO

Smoke Alert

Smoke from the wildfire burning in Fort McMurray has now blown into the Slave Lake area. People with health concerns should call Alberta Health Link at 1-866-408-5465 or visit healthlinkalberta.ca

Red Cross Donation Update

From the Edmonton Sun

About $1.1 million in donations from generous Canadians has aided disaster relief efforts across Western Canada — including relief for fire ravaged Slave Lake — says the Canadian Red Cross. Officials with the Canadian Red Cross could not break down how much of the donations were spent for displaced Slave Lake residents after wildfires wiped subdivision right off the map.

Efforts are also being made to flooding disasters in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia, said officials with the charity.

Nathan Huculak, a spokesman with the Canadian Red Cross, said most of the donations have come from Albertans. All of the donations to the Canadian Red Cross has been put into a Canadian disaster fund the charity uses to respond to disasters, said Huculak.

That fund will help displaced residents find long-term accommodations, clean-up efforts in Slave Lake, “and getting a home back to a stage that’s liveable,” said Huculak. “Canadians are typically very generous when it comes to times of disaster to support other impacted Canadians and others around the world,” said Huculak.

“Slave Lake is one of our core activities.”

Meanwhile, the province announced plans Saturday to move 100 firefighters, police, emergency medical service workers, and health care staff into hotels in Slave Lake to free up living spaces for residents who lost their homes.

“Our community won’t be whole until we get everybody back and I want our citizens to know that we won’t rest until we rebuild our community,” said Slave Lake Mayor Karina Pillay-Kinee in a press release. “We are working closely with (the provincial government) to get temporary housing in place for our displaced residents. Our hearts go out to everyone who experienced loss during the wildfire.”

The province said in a release that other options “are being explored” for housing options in Slave Lake and roughly 200 nearby camping spaces have been set aside for displace residents.

Website Changes

So right now I am trying to set up a new, bigger website because of all the amazing people wanting to help the residents of Slave Lake and area, and to give you more information if you are looking for resources of help... This should be happening soon!

Also, I have now split things up in terms of the pages. Businesses of Slave Lake, if you are looking for resources you have your own page. Residents, you have your own as well.

If you have any suggestions, please email them to me angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

Bears in Slave Lake and Area

So I totally had a wrong post on here from a trusted news agency about how many bears were captured in Slave Lake - will just go on the info from the government from now on...

There have been sightings and only one bear has been caught near the town and relocated, but due to the smell residents are asked to practice bear smarts, not leave any garbage that is rotting outside, and keep an eye on your kids when they are out and about. Just be cautious, and for more information on bear tips, go to www.bearsmart.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Big Fundrasier Planned

There is a massive fundraiser in the works, so mark your calendars for July Long and plan to be up north! Cheap tickets for those who weren't evacuated, absolutely free for those who are from that area and were effected by the fires!

The website launches June 3!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Super Important Update for Evacuees

We are just now having trouble with phone lines (unrelated to fire) so those whose homes are damaged or destroyed who should call 780-849-8175. With patience they can call that number and we will assess their needs. That will help us in our future planning.
Access and Housing Team in Slave Lake

Help Edmonton!

There is a gentlemen on his way from Kelowna to Edmonton right now with a van full of things for Slave Lake - problem? All of a sudden no one is taking donations. Do you have a solution for temporary storage please??? If so - contact angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com ASAP! Thanks!

In talking with the Government of Alberta's Operations Center, we've come up with a plan. In order to figure out how much space they need to store the donations, we need to know what you have!
Please email me angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com with what kind of donations you have, if you can provide as much detail as possible, how big of a load, (ex. #of boxes, tractor trailer, trunk-full, etc.)
I am compiling an "inventory list" (best words for it I think) for the Government and will be passing that off to them. So if you could let me know asap, email that information, and we will work on getting you your space back

Fantastic Calgary!

In addition to Ms. Nikita Grai FANTASTICAL efforts in Calgary, comes these lovely ladies and their kick ass donation organization and drive!

Library Update!

Rebuilding the Slave Lake Library – one Donation at a Time

The public library in the Town of Slave Lake was completely destroyed on Sunday, May 15, as a result of a huge forest fire. The beautiful new Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library had just opened in 2010.

About forty per cent of the Town is gone and support for those who lost their homes and possessions is pouring in via the Red Cross and other organizations. Support for the library is also pouring in. Libraries, bookstores, publishers and other library-related organizations have been in touch with Peace Library System to see how they can help the library rebuild. Here’s what you can do:

Donations of new or nearly new books to: (no more than two years old) can be shipped to Peace Library System headquarters where they will be catalogued, processed and stored until a temporary library opens in Slave Lake. Please ship to:

Peace Library System 8301 – 110 Street
Grande Prairie, AB T8W 6T2
ATTN: Books for Slave Lake Library

Cash donations can be made by going to the library’s web page at www.slavelakelibrary.ab.ca and clicking on the “Make a Donation” link.

The Slave Lake Library and Peace Library System thank all who make a contribution to rebuilding the library.For additional information, please contact Carol Downing, Assistant Director, at cdowning@peacelibrarysystem.ab.ca

Drive Safe Tomorrow!

Hope everyone gets home safely tomorrow, please do not speed or tailgate, the last thing that needs to happen is a massive pile-up on highway 2!

Important Phone Number Update:
We are just now having trouble with phone lines (unrelated to fire) so those whose homes are damaged or destroyed who should call 780-849-8681. With patience they can call that number and we will assess their needs. That will help us in our future planning.
Access and Housing Team in Slave Lake.

Here are some other good updates for you!
Whiteway Laundromat is now open and operating 24 hours a day in Plaza 2000
Allarie Laundromat is now open 24 hours a day
Both Laundromats are self serve at this time, so bring your own change and soap
Allarie Cleaners main plant will be full operational on Monday

The Brick is up and operating. They have several semi trailer loads of fridges and freezers on the way to Slave Lake and they are prepared to work with everyone to get you exactly what you need to get you kitchen and house back to normal. The first 3 loads of appliance will be arriving Friday mornin

The playground equipment has been hosed off, the traffic lights are working...

The Community Service Centre is located in Slave Lake at St. Mary's of the Lake. This Centre is a location that each and every resident has to check in and register with before heading to their houses

Big Donations Announcement

So what are you supposed to do with those donations now? They've been collecting space in your home/garage/business and you want to know the best way to get them to Slave Lake... I've got your answer! In talking with the Government of Alberta's Operations Center, we've come up with a plan. In order to figure out how much space they need to store the donations, we need to know what you have!

Please email me angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com with what kind of donations you have, if you can provide as much detail as possible, how big of a load, (ex. #of boxes, tractor trailer, trunk-full, etc.)

I am compiling an "inventory list" (best words for it I think) for the Government and will be passing that off to them. So if you could let me know asap, email that information, and we will work on getting you your space back.

Thank you a MILLION times over for your generosity.

Please note grad attire including dresses and suits, and wedding attire donations are not a part of this inventory, please email details about those seperately. Thank you!

Giving out some Happy Thoughts and Messages

So while we wait for Slave Lake and area to get to go home, I thought of a little project. Talking with numerous evacuees, kids and even school officials there is one clear message - some spirits need to be lifted. Especially those of the kids. What they went through is extrememly traumatic, and even the smell of smoke and I heard from a cousin is scary for her little guy. So how about this? How about we cheer some folks up?

Take a picture of yourself/kids/whoever, holding a sign that has an inspirational message (ex. We are thinking of you Slave Lake) etc... Or even a short video with you holding a saying. Whatever you can do, send it to me, and I am compiling something special for them, that will be sent to the town and to youtube of course as well. My email:

This was put out a couple days ago, only recieved 3 pics, cmon Alberta and Canada - lets lift some spirits!

Eye Glass Aide from Pearle Vision

From Facebook:

Just had a call from Joanne at Pearle Vision in Edson. If you've lost or left your glasses behind as you evacuated, you can receive a free pair from your nearest Pearle Vision location, including Edmonton and Edson. Way to go, Pearle Vision! Thank you!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Almost Cried Today...

I didn't cry throughout the devistation, awful images of a hometown near mine, nor did I cry with frustration as I heard how cousins and friends lost their homes. And than today I really almost did, well not going to lie there were a couple tears...

I heard Jamie Coutts, fire chief of Slave Lake - describe the heroism of him and his firefighters along side other volunteer firefighters from other towns, including the hamlet of Smiths' volunteer department, descibe the events of May 15, 2011.

Jamie Coutts and volunteer department fought hard with the Smith volunteer fire department since Friday night, when the blaze first started, and on Sunday in the night were joined by Athabasca and many others. And they are still working at it today. Working at it to bring people home. Battling hot spots, being seperated from their families, to bring the families of Slave Lake and area home.

Watching Jamie on youtube made me realize how dangerous things were, how awful and scary they were, for the men and women who volunteered to stay on the ground and try desperately to save the town of Slave Lake. Watching the spotting occur, where the fire jumps and sparks fly meters and meters taken by the wind, to ignite whatever they want to land on. To try and save something that is one minute fine, the next engulfed in flames and trying to take its neighborhood with it. Fire pretty much raining from the sky, smoke so thick you cannot see, and limited resources.

This is what they had to deal with, those volunteers including childhood friends I've known since we were in diapers and my own baby brother. (who will kick my ass for calling him that now that he's 19 and all...) But they put themselves on the front line of battle, in danger - to fight one of the worst fires in the history of this country.

But the way Jamie describes it, is the way they describe it that really hits home. And calling them heros - they shrug it off, because they "did what they had to do." They got people out safely, they fought to save the hospital, and not just the fire department, but emergency crews, RCMP, Special Constables, SRD and more - even civilians, stayed through Sunday night until help arrived and continued to stay to make every effort the could to save things. And although there was no sleep for 33+ hours, no showers, no rest, clean socks or even underwear, and there was no relief until Sunday - those men and women worked so, so, so hard, and luckily everyone got out ok. Luckily no one was taken by that awful wildfire.

As Jamie says there wasn't enough equipment, water, nor enough manpower but instead of giving up they stayed to fight, and we know the hospital still stands today because of them. A lot of the town that is still standing is there today because of them. Volunteers, like we were recently, to sort clothes and collect donations, but those actions did not risk our lives, not like the heroic actions taken by these men and women. The volunteers and workers that stayed and had to watch their family drive away as they stayed bravely, that stayed though the onslaught of ferocious winds and deadly flames - and for that, I think hero just isn't a big enough term.

Also, a moment of silence for the pilot who lost his life in a horrible crash into Slave Lake. Our prayers are with his family.

To help out Jamie and team, as well as other volunteer fire fighters who are volunteering on call for many nights of the year, who risk it during awful weather to go to accident scenes, or battle fires, please visit http://www.thefirewithin.ca/

To donate directly to the Slave Lake Volunteer Fire Department, I have the address. Email me at angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

For Jamie's interviews, visit


Firefighters First putting Slave Lake First

WOW this is unreal! Look at this amazing website that is supporting Jamie & crew from the Slave Lake Volunteer Fire Department, who also work with Fred & crew and the Smith Volunteer Fire Department! And now, not only are they raising money through t-shirt sales, but they are also asking people to donate very generously to the Slave Lake department and Motorola is matching donations: "Motorola Solutions Foundation has generously offered their support to the Slave Lake Volunteer firefighters and their families. The Foundation will match the first $5000 of donations received."

As a big sister of a volunteer fireman who worked on the Slave Lake Fire, I say support this with all your might if you can! Repost and let ppl know on social media too!
And I am just sayin, looks like some cute boys on their calendars for sale ladies!

Check out some of their posts:
Many of the firefighters of the Slave Lake fire department have lost their homes and all their possessions, yet continue to volunteer and fight valiantly for their community.
When the fighting is done they will have little to come home to. Please take the time to donate and help us to tell the story of the Slave Lake Volunteer Firefighters.
Firefighters1st will send a special edition
T-shirt, honoring the Slave Lake volunteers, to the first 100 people to donate more than $50. **Please indicate sizing in the PayPal note to sender [2nd page]
**NOTE: A portion of the proceeds Many of the firefighters of the Slave Lake fire department have lost their homes and all their possessions, yet continue to volunteer and fight valiantly for their community.

The Latest: The effort to raise funds for the Firefighters of Slave Lake and their families has been progressing quite well. We still have a small mountain to climb to achieve our goal of raising $20,000 in support of the firefighters who continue to fight even thought they've lost everything and their town is in ruins.

Your support is still greatly appreciated and will go a long way in helping the Firefighters of Slave Lake start to rebuild. All proceeds go directly to the firefighters and their families of Slave Lake. Many thanks to all supporters.

Businesses Don't Forget

As Slave Lake Logistics Team plans to do more clean-up, we'd like to thank the businesses who have stepped up FREE OF CHARGE to help. I have been compiling a list for the logistics team, so if you would like to add your business to it, please contact me at angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

Also, if any businesses are still waiting to donate funds, we are looking at one business to be a scholarship provider for a one time scholarship this year. Please contact for more info.

Thanks again for your generosity!

Re-Entry Q and A

Coming home - question and answers about when and how residents and businesses will return to Slave Lake and area

What is the four-phase plan?

Your local officials have organized a four-phase approach for the safe and orderly return of residents and businesses to return to the community. The phases are necessary to allow municipal officials and essential services staff and personnel the time to support people going back into their homes, including such things as turning power and gas on in each building.

  • Phase 1 - Recovery of Critical Infrastructure. This phase is complete. It entails repairs and restoration to critical infrastructure and utilities to allow essential service workers to return and perform their key functions;

  • Phase 2 - Staffing of Essential Services. This phase will see the movement of essential workers (those individuals and their immediate family that support the critical infrastructure, protective, health and fire services and governance of the community) to either their undamaged homes or temporary accommodations in the region to service all functions in Phase 1. This phase ends when all of the re-entry criteria have been met;

  • Phase 3 - Reestablishing Regional Key Business Components. This phase will see key business owners and workers of businesses that are undamaged return to the community. This phase will also allow businesses and workers to access the town temporarily and retrieve their business vehicles and/or tools if they work elsewhere and depend on this equipment for their livelihood. The EOC will directly contact the business owners to inform them when they can return to the community; and

  • Phase 4 - General Re-entry of Evacuees. This phase will commence on order issued by the EOC and will see the general re-entry of families. This will be supported by a traffic plan.

Who is being allowed to return now? Why?

A state of local emergency remains in place for the Town of Slave Lake. However, with Phase 1 complete, the EOC has determined it is safe to move forward with Phase 2 of the plan which allows for essential service workers and their families to return home. Essential service workers include health care providers, utility personnel, protective and fire service personnel, local government and community officials.

Who makes the decision on when people will be allowed back to Slave Lake and area?
The primary focus continues to be on safety for all workers and returning evacuees.

The Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) in the Town of Slave Lake and the MD of Lesser Slave River has determined that critical safety criteria have been met and a phased re-entry into the community can commence.

A four-phase plan has been developed to ensure a safe and orderly return to the community by evacuees. The plan was endorsed by the Town of Slave Lake, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River and the Government of Alberta and included input from the Sawridge First Nation.

As criteria are met, the next phase of the plan will be implemented. Updates will be issued on the progress of the plan and posted on wildfiresupport.alberta.ca and hardcopies supplied to information and reception centres.

What needs to happen before all evacuees can return to Slave Lake?

Before local officials can make the decision to allow all residents to return to their communities, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • drinking water declared safe by Alberta Health Services;

  • there is no longer a threat of wildfires re-starting in Slave Lake, Sawridge or the MD of Lesser Slave River;

  • essential services including governance, utilities, 911, and protective services declared in operation by the Emergency Operation Centre;

  • health services declared in operation by Alberta Health Services; and

  • re-entry support, including the arrangement of temporary housing and the opening of a Community Social Centre, declared in place and operational.

How will other residents be notified when they will be allowed back in?

All residents will be allowed to return when Phase 4 is ready to be implemented.
Updates will be issued as the plan progresses and posted on wildfiresupport.alberta.ca and hardcopies supplied to evacuation reception centres.

Evacuees are advised to check with evacuation reception centres for situation updates, or visit the Slake Lake or Municipal District of Lesser Slave River websites (www.slavelake.ca or http://www.md124.ca). The Red Cross database will also be used to provide direct information to displaced residents, which may include facts sheets and timelines for re-entry, it is important that all evacuees be registered with the Red Cross.

Will I have power and gas as soon as I get back in my home or business?

As residents return, inspections will be conducted and gas and power will be restored on a
site-by-site basis. Additional technicians will be on-hand to address any problems as systems are re-started. Residents should be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours - including drinking water.

What are the key businesses identified to return in Phase 3?

The EOC will directly contact the business owners to inform them when they can return to the community. Examples of business that will be allowed back in this phase include food, pharmacy and banking.

I have no way to get back to my home. Will I be provided with transportation back to Slave Lake when we are allowed back?

When it is deemed safe to have all evacuees return to the community, the EOC will ensure a safe and orderly return of residents. The Provincial Operation Centre will arrange for ground transportation as required. Residents with vehicles may return to the community in those vehicles.

Where can I get more information?
Call toll-free 310-4455 for current information about the wildfire situation, road closures, telephone numbers, and how to get more information for specific questions.

Updates will be posted on the wildfiresupport.alberta.ca website and hardcopies supplied to information and reception centres.

Re-Entry Plan

May 25, 2011
Phased re-entry into Slave Lake and area starts today
Essential services allowed to enter town first

Slave Lake...
The Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) in the Town of Slave Lake has determined that critical safety criteria have been met and a phased re-entry into the community can commence.
A four-phase plan has been developed to ensure a safe and orderly return of evacuees to the community. The plan was endorsed by the Town of Slave Lake, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River and the Government of Alberta and included input from the Sawridge First Nation.
Phase 1 of the re-entry plan was to ensure critical infrastructure was in place. This is complete and the following criteria have been met:

  • There is no longer a threat of wildfires re-starting in Slave Lake, Sawridge or the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River;

  • Power is fully restored;

  • Natural gas service is restored in areas that were not damaged by the fire;

  • Phone service is restored to all areas not damaged by the fire. Free cell phones will be provided to residents and businesses in the damaged areas;

  • Protective services are in place - fire, EMS and police; and

  • Water services are restored. A boil water advisory is still in effect.

With this work complete, the EOC has determined it is safe to move forward with Phase 2 of the plan which allows for essential service workers and their families to return home. Essential service workers include health care providers, utility personnel, protective and fire service personnel, local government and community officials. The EOC has begun contacting all identified essential service workers directly to inform them that it is important they return to the community immediately.

The state of local emergency remains in place. RCMP will continue to operate roadblocks and will turn back any person that is not cleared to enter.

“Thanks to the tireless efforts of more than 1,400 dedicated professionals, we are prepared to start allowing essential service staff and their families back into our community,” said Karina Pillay-Kinnee, Mayor of Slave Lake. “I must stress that we are still under a state of local emergency and this is not a general call for people to return to our community - we still have a tremendous amount of work to do between now and then.”

Having essential service personnel return to the community is imperative before the town and municipal district are ready to proceed with the final two phases of the re-entry plan:

Phase 3 - re-establishing regional key business components. This phase will see key business owners and workers of businesses that are undamaged return to the community. This phase will also allow businesses and workers to access the town temporarily and retrieve their business vehicles and/or tools if they work elsewhere and depend on this equipment for their livelihood. The EOC will directly contact the business owners to inform them when they can return to the community; and

Phase 4 - general re-entry of evacuees. This phase will commence on order issued by the EOC and will see the general re-entry of families. This will be supported by a traffic plan and additional information will be made available to residents prior to re-entry.

“I want to commend the evacuees for their patience,” added Denny Garratt, Reeve of the MD of Lesser Slave River. “Once all essential services are ready, we will start to allow key businesses to return home to ensure that we have a functioning community that is ready to support all displaced residents.”

“You cannot underestimate the level of detail and necessary checks that are needed to begin the re-entry process,” said Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Hector Goudreau. “The phased-in approach allows us to ensure that the appropriate level of support is ready and available for the safe return of residents to their community.”

A copy of the Slave Lake Region Community Re-entry Plan is available online at http://www.wildfiresupport.alberta.ca/. Updates will be issued on the progress of the plan and posted to the site and hardcopies supplied to information and reception centre.

Important Update from the Red Cross


All evacuees will be required to have registered with the Canadian Red Cross prior to being given their Government of Alberta cheques. Evacuees who have not registered will be required to register with the Canadian Red Cross in person at locations where Red Cross volunteers are on site or via the Telus Canadian Red Cross Call Centre by phoning 1-800-565-4483.

Disaster Assistance Cheques

Evacuees will be able to receive their Disaster Assistance cheques from the Government of Alberta at any Alberta Works office in the province. Cheques can also be collected at Service Centers, in Athabasca, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, High Prairie, Peace River, Valleyview, Wabasca, Westlock and Smith. The Service Centres will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Accessing Provincial Government Assistance

The Government of Alberta has set up a toll free information line for evacuees that have questions related to the fire, programs and services that the Alberta government can provide. Evacuees are encouraged to call the Alberta Supports Contact Center 1-877-644-9992 for more information.

Unmet Needs

If you still have unmet needs, the Canadian Red Cross may be able assist those who have had fire-related damage to their home and are suffering hardship as a result of the disaster. Red Cross help can include information, food, basic repairs, household goods, occupational needs and clean-up kits equipped with general cleaning supplies. To learn more phone 1-800-565-4483.

Red Cross Conversation

After a great conversation with the Red Cross, I have cleared some of your questions up! Many were asking - where is the $600,000 that was donated to Slave Lake? Why are we only getting the government money? Why is the Red Cross only registering us on site and not volunteering or helping at the evac sites?

Here is the answer:
Of course we cannot always see whats going on behind the scenes, but when you are evacuated and see all this money go to an organization, you worry and wonder whats going to happen to it. Rumors start swirling and the end result is angry questions.

The money donated to Slave Lake WILL stay in Slave Lake, as long as the funds were earmarked Slave Lake Wildfires. If you are donating, please be sure to do that. And than even if it takes 10 years to go through that money, the Red Cross will ensure it stays with Slave Lake until it is all spent. (Remember the Pine Lake tornado? They just closed that case file and distributed the last of the funds to those in need, so you know they are sticking by their word, that was over 10 years ago!)

The Red Cross is planning on setting up shop in Slave Lake long term to help the people effected by these fires. Whatever needs have to be met will be based on assessment of each individual and family and the Red Cross will act accordingly. They plan to give assistance, help out, and get people back on their feet again. A preliminary team is in Slave Lake right now planning and assessing things.

Also, the Red Cross has open case files of evacuees they are looking to find after family has called in and wondered where they were. They have been able to call families and let them know where there loved ones are and that they are safe, and are still working on open cases. It is massively important that your register with the Red Cross, because we don't want you to be one of those open cases and have your families worried.

Thank you so so so much Red Cross for calling back, and letting these questions get asked, and giving answers. Its so hard to know whats going on when you are evcuated and not too sure whats going on around you, when you can go home, etc, and this I hope can help you out.

So earmark those funds properly, and donate-away to the Red Cross - they have a stellar reputation, and despite this kink of not knowing what was happening and no communication, we finally have gotten that communication and it is positive and the Red Cross will help the people of Slave Lake and area for as long as they are needed.

Bless you Red Cross & your volunteers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Scholarship Challange

In talking with the school boards of Slave Lake, we now have a general number of how many Grade 12 students there will be this year. I am looking for a business out there who would like to be a part of a scholarship program for these grads. If anyone is interested, and is waiting to donate money to the right cause for this and is interested in this, please contact myself at angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

All funds will be divided according to the graduates per school, and than the school board can take that lump sum and divide it accordingly.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Bell Mobility...

Offering free local calling to Slave Lake and area residents, would be nice - IF THEY COULD GO HOME TO SLAVE LAKE!!! Dudes, they are out of their town until AT LEAST May 28, give your heads a shake.

PS- Bell has been emailed about this as well, I just replied to the one they sent me last week about their generosity. I totally take blame in not reading it closely and seeing the message said local calling, otherwise I totally would have jumped on this sooner....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Reminder About those Helping Animals

In addition to the UNREAL AMAZING work that the Edmonton Humane Society and SCARS are doing for the pets of Slave Lake Residents (not just cats and dogs, but birds, fish, reptiles, hamsters and more,) a reminder that these folks offer their help too. PS- The above organizations are NON-PROFIT so if you are looking to donate some fundraised money, please don't forget them, they have been working many many hours on the Slave Lake fire areas.

Steve Osborn from Grande Prairie can house up to 5 horses contact through facebook

Ron Thatcher through facebook can house horses near Grande Prairie

PAWS pet boarding and grooming is offering free boarding for any cats/dogs – phone Brenda at 780-835-5533 or Stacy 780-772-1107

Hi I own a kennel in Tofield and can offer shelter to some pets from Monday forward. I also have an extra room if a person is in need of shelter at any time.
Kind regards,
Amy Porter
Prairie Rose Boarding Kennels Ltd.
(780) 662-3647

Inspirational Challange

Its been one week since the unimagineable happen in Slave Lake & area. Your challange is to grab your video camera, or camera, take a picture of yourself/friends with an inspirational message to the residents and kids of the effected areas, and send it to angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

This special project will be put together as quickly as I can get enough pictures, and the final product will be posted asap! Take care and have fun with this challange!

Buses for Residents of Slave Lake

The Alberta Government is offering bus tours to residents of Slave Lake to have a look at the damage of the town. They have posted maps and routes at

They are going to take residents on a tour through the Town of Slave Lake, Poplar Lane, and the South Shore including Canyon Creek, Widewater and Wagner. No one will be allowed out of the buses and they will be escorted by RCMP. You must be age 18 or older to go on this tour.

Here is the full information bulletin:

May 22, 2011

Initial Community visits planned for displaced residents

Slave Lake… The Town of Slave Lake and the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River will begin scheduled opportunities for displaced residents 18 years and older to tour their community. Bus tours for up to 250 displaced persons per day are scheduled to begin on Monday, May 23. Five buses, each with room for 50 people, will depart from the reception centres in Edmonton, Athabasca, and Westlock.

To ensure the safety of displaced residents, and to ensure that the fire suppression operations in Slave Lake are not disrupted, local emergency officials have determined that the maximum number of buses that can enter the town is five. Municipal officials are confident that displaced residents will effectively prioritize themselves and consider those who will be able to take the initial bus tours. Residents are asked to once again demonstrate patience and courtesy and allow those residents who experienced the most loss to have priority on the first tours.

Monday and Tuesday Tour Schedule:

Leaving from Athabasca Multiplex boarding at 8am, leaving at 8:30am, coming back at 1:30pm

Leaving from Edmonton 7128 Ada Boulevard boarding at 8:30am, leaving at 9pm, coming back at 5pm

Leaving from Edmonton 7128 Ada Boulevard boarding at 10:30am, leaving at 11am, coming back at 7pm

Leaving from Westlock 10711-104 ave boarding 1:30pm, leaving at 2pm, coming back at 8pm

Leaving from Athabasca Multiplex boarding at 4pm, leaving at 4:30pm, coming back at 9:30pm.

During the tour:

· To ensure everyone’s safety, no one will be permitted to leave the bus.

· The RCMP-escorted buses will follow specific routes. The tour will not pass every affected property and the route may be altered during the tour for safety reasons. Route maps have been developed and are available at reception centres and online at http://www.wildfiresupport.alberta.ca/

· Faith-based support services will be available.

· No one under 18 will be allowed on the tour. Government of Alberta staff and trained childcare providers will be available to provide daycare service while parents and guardians are on the tour.

The area is still an active emergency site with injury risks from smoldering debris and embers, wind gusts, and the potential for explosions from items such as propane tanks and ammunition

Tours will continue on Tuesday, May 24. Additional tours will be scheduled by the Town and Municipal District, if needed.

For more information contact:

Provincial Operations Centre

To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yahoo the Call to Telus Worked!!!!

The big phone call to Telus as posted on Friday, has worked! Check out their information on their site now, extending their free unlimited and more offers to at least May 31!! (They had previously said until May 24)

Slave Lake, Alberta fire

TELUS began reaching out to displaced Slave Lake residents in the hours after fires burned through their community. In addition to the text to donate campaign, we:

  • Provided TELUS clients in Slave Lake free wireless calling anywhere in Canada, as well as a stoppage on billing and provision of free Future Friendly Home services until at least May 31

  • Donated $25,000 to the Red Cross

  • Shipped 750 long distance and 250 prepaid wireless calling cards to Slave Lake residents so they can stay in touch with family and friends

  • Sent 1,680 comfort kits, prepared by our TELUS Ambassadors, to evacuation centres in nearby communities

  • Arranged for loaner phones as well as cell phone and smartphone chargers to be distributed to Slave Lake residents and relief workers

  • Worked with emergency services on the ground to ensure sufficient communications services were in place.

Alberta TELUS dealers have also provided very strong support to Slave Lake including more than $4,000 in donations to date, $750 in Superstore gift cards, truckloads of supplies and necessities and a variety of communication devices including phones and chargers. They have also supplied the Humane Society with communications equipment to assist the organization in reuniting stray pets with their families.

Important Donation Update

On behalf of the evacuation centers in Alberta...
Including the Edmonton Emergency Relief...

Ive been in contact with the donation center heads & please DON'T SEND DONATIONS WITHOUT CALLING. They're overstocked, have things in tents because of that-if it rains, already they risk things getting ruined. There is now a DONATION HOTLINE for Alberta and, they will tell you what they need, don't need, and where it should be sent. Please call 780-482-7867. Thanks for your generosity! Whoever has taken time to drop off donations, volunteer your time, donate period - you are all amazing!

Shoppers is just Prime

Hi Angie,

First, I want to say thank you for sprouting angel wings and doing what you are doing. People need info and you have jumped in and provided

My mother is a resident of Slave Lake and I live in Yellowknife, so reading your blog brings much relief and amazes me at the generosity and speed of people actions to the plight of everyoine who has been affected by the wildfires.

Shoppers Drug Mart has a campaign started - they will match donations from your Optimum card. Here is the web site.

I wanted to let you know so you can post where you think it would work best.

Again, thank you for all your efforts - the power that one person has is remarkable. you are reaching so many.

Kathy Brown

Lethbridge Remembers the Forgotten

Alberta Environment staff in Lethbridge have organized a cash fund raising campaign for the Athabasca food bank. We expect to raise close to $1500 and this money will be transported, along with some supplies that have been collected at the Provincial building in Lethbridge, up to Athabasca on Monday. I have spoken to Mike at the food bank in Athabasca and he informed me that they are absolutely depleted. When the fire struck, they immediately spent all the money they had in their coffers on bedding and clothing supplies. The have even BORROWED money to help in the effort. Its hard to believe, but the food bank may end up owing money when all is said and done. This seems like a travesty to me, but it is what it is. Hopefully some of the provincial government funds will go towards this very real need, but in the meantime, this is where our support will be focused.
Mike also encouraged us to think in the long term. When the multi-plex closes its doors, and when affected people don't want to impose on friends and family anymore they will STILL be in need and this need will fall to the food bank. I challenge other groups to put on fund raisers perhaps in a week or two ... or a month or two from now, so these families are not forgotten.

To Peggy and People of Spruce Grove

You people are unbelievable!!!! I stopped by on Thursday to meet Peggy and her crew and wow have they done a lot, coordinating, getting volunteers, calling around making sure they could send donations to the right people in the right places, sitting in the sun getting sunburnt, and just to put it in simple terms, being angels. Here is the latest update from her:

There are times in a person’s life when they sometimes see the world visibly changed by others. This past week was one of those times for me. Since Monday, a small (and I mean SMALL) group of volunteers gathered together and coordinated one of the biggest collection drives in Alberta for the residents of Slave Lake in the Walmart parking lot. There were many tears shared with evacuees coming and sharing their stories with us as they took the necessities that they needed, and many hugs and people just stopping by to say thank you.
All in all, we gathers three SEMI trailers FULL of non-food related items, and sent 9 ski-doo trailers of food directly to the evacuees. All coordinated and organized directly with the evacuation center in Westlock. I was honored to witness my seven year old daughter sort goods for 5 hours in a distribution center in Westlock, only to eagerly return the next day to do another day with a smile on her face. I saw people give up 14 hours a day just to serve others that they have never met in the parking lot with us.

We called Westcan/RTL Group of companies, and in under 10 minutes they arranged a semi trailer for us and supplied drivers for 3 straight days. A local skidoo group covered us for any trailers we needed. I shared some needs with Zender Ford and the company stepped up and
covered all of our gas to deliver everything to and from Athabasca (a small fortune with today’s gas prices!). Subway and Pizza 73 sent all of us food everyday, and locals often dropped
by for smiles and with coffee or drinks. There were a few local letdowns, like the three large grocery chains here. Of the three companies that could have made the biggest difference in the
evacuees situation, only one donated anything, and it was a paltry $25 gift certificate. Private citizens donated more than that in a heartbeat when they heard what we were doing.
All in all, I just wanted to say how proud I am to be a citizen of this area. Over this past week, our grassroots effort of just a few good people quite literally changed the world. I am humbled by how much people were willing to give, and honored that I had the opportunity to help coordinate this effort.

stepped up to the plate. They provided us space, allowed us to
distributed "needs" lists at the door, collected money for the Red Cross,
and encouraged their customers in any way possible to help donate non
perishables. THANK YOU WALMART!!!

Thank you Spruce Grove!
Peggy Zallas

Swan Hills you Rock!

An email that was sent to me....

Sending a most heart felt THANK YOU to the town of SWAN HILLS...not only has the community been working tirelessly on collection drives for the evacuation centres...The good people of Swan Hills are taking care of us...a family displaced from Assineau. At this time we cannot put into words the true graditude we wish to express. Herb, Wendy, Zoe and Bruce

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saving our Furry Friends

These folks have been saving tons and tons of animals, and have been working so hard, countless hours, to help out those animals in need. They are reuniting animals with their families and working hard! Here is a message we recieved from another great organization helping out:

SCARS (Second Chance Animal Rescue Society) has been working closely with the Edmonton Humane Society by going up to search and rescue the pets left behind as well as get vet care for those injured. They are currently in desperate need for extra funding to help with these projects and could use financial support. Please visit their website and donate via paypal!!


More Generosity

My workplace (A daycare center in Grande Prairie) heard about the evacuees at the GP Inn. Our director had started a fundraising drive for staff and parents, in which the daycare matched all donations. We had over 800.00 all together and all purchased supplies (toiletries, diapers, wipes, formula etc.) was taken to the GP Inn. It made all of our hearts happy to be able to help.

Lost your family computer in the fire? I'm getting offers of refurbished computer systems from donors in various locations, from two complete Windows XP computers ready to go near Boyle to potentially hundreds that can be shipped from an organization in Ontario.
To learn more and to get yourself or someone you are helping onto our contact list, visit http://tinyurl.com/tech-donor
As of today, I have a donor with two refurbished computers located not far from Boyle and Athabasca.

Grad Announcement

Chelsie Fodchuk is setting up drop off locations around the province where people can drop off in EXCELLENT CONDITION grad dresses. So instead of setting up an online store, Chelsie emailed and I quote “two heads are better than one” and I took her up on it! She is fantastic!

So we will be posting soon under grad donations where these drop off locations are. PLEASE make sure these dresses are in AMAZING condition, and you can drop off MINT condition shoes and jewellery. Chelsie has plans to set up a mobile trailer to go to the evac sites and act as a store. So please, keep checking out our grad section for places to drop your dresses off. If you want more information, or to set up a drop off site in your area, please contact Chelsie Fodchuk through facebook, or myself at angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com

If we get too many dresses to use this year, we are planning on keeping them for next year’s grad and proms for a Slave Lake and Area Cinderella Project.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lamb Ford Rockstars


They are donating a vehicle (since I have a little car) so we can personally run donations to some families who have contacted us, and drop off things in Athabasca and Smith. You are the best Pat Q and crew!


The Amazing People of Smith and Where Volunteers are Needed

Recieved email:

I am one of the people evacuated out of Slave lake and are just overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and aid that my friends and I have recieved in the small community of Smith. Without there help we would be in much worse shape.
A special thanks goes out to, (Debbie and Clarence) who took total strangers into their home.
Thanks again to all the volunteers and donations from everybody in Smith and everywhere else. You guys and gals Rock....:)
Bill Glenn

Note: I have know Debbie and Clarence since birth - they are great! Smith is my hometown! Also amazing are the other ladies of Smith and men too helping out, including Diana Thomas, Edith Johnson, Nancy Sand, my own mom, and the many other people in that small hamlet helping at the community hall! Kudos to you all back home and see you Friday! I know that they could always use more volunteers so if you are free and in Athabasca, make a call to the hall in Smith tomorrow they are doing a big coordination, I am sure they could use you! 780-829-2524

Also a MASSIVE thanks to the gals coordinating donations in their town including the people at the Multiplex in Athabasca (Marcy Boisvert, Kim, and Niki Booth and Crew,) Westlock (everyone at the hall, Rhonda Kirkpatrick, Peggy, and more), Heidi who is helping everyone keep updated on facebook, Bobbi and her page Slave Lake Evacuation Donations, Lindsey Lucyk and Alberta Emergency Accommodations on Facebook, the folks in High Prairie Peace Officer Mark and also Kim - wow is all I have to say!

And a big thanks to my partner in crime Jennifer Mercier, who has been helping with our facebook page Donations & Aide for Slave Lake & Area

More Volunteer Needed for Sorting

(Edmonton) Beacon Heights Community League 4412-118 Ave.

Edmonton Emergency Relief Services 10255 104 St NW (780) 428-4422

(Red Deer) Jo Dumont Fitness #1 7819 50 Ave. Red Deer (403)348-5338 or (403)505-3354.

Calgary needs help picking up from the drop off locations, bringing it to the storage and sorting it. Please email info@weangreen.com. They are working out of Sentinel Self Storage located at 2 Bowridge Drive

Go Red for Recovery

We are a community of hairstylists in the Red Deer area that have come together to create this Fundraiser. From May 24, 2011 through till June 1, 2011 Participating salons will be offering to put a red streak in clients hair for a $20 donation. We have 9 salons and 1 radio station on board so far and more are welcome. Please see our Facebook Page and Event Page, both are Go Red For Recovery.

To join us please contact me at alisonblair.hairdesign@gmail.com or post a comment on our facebook page and I will be in touch with all the details.

IT Help for Evacuees and Survivors

Hardware can be replaced much more easily than unique information.
Among the hundreds of damaged and destroyed homes and offices there
are many hard drives, DVD, flash drives and the like with important,
often confidential information. During the next few weeks and months,
that information could be vital to the rebuilding of the local economy
and the lives of many residents.

Just a few of the vital things that might be found:

Customer databases
Student research and course work
Financial and legal records
Municipal documents and records
Photos or video from weddings or special occasions
Expensive software or digital content
Locally-stored records of emails or communications
Job seeker resumes, contact lists, etc.

Computer media that are not obviously destroyed need to be protected
from further damage, theft or unauthorized access, marked for
identification, and stored where the appropriate person or people can
find the information. There should be an affordable, local means of
testing computer media for usability, recovering important data and
delivering the information to the appropriate people in confidential,
reliable manner.

This may be less urgent that immediate shelter and medical needs, but
it is something that must not be overlooked during the oncoming weeks
and months. Restored information can get a business going and people
working again much faster. It can help a student finish a course or
school year instead of repeating. It can help restore a sense of
normality to families that may have otherwise lost everything.

I'm hoping that volunteers with the necessary skills and/or equipment
can arrange and assist with periodic events at nearby schools or
resource centres.

Later on, there will be need for replacement of destroyed computers
and other equipment. I am presently building an online form that will
help households, non-profits and small businesses affected by the
Slave Lake fire request computers and related equipment from
organizations that specialize in computer re-use and recycling. I
expect it to be functioning some time on the long weekend or early
next week.

In the meantime, I can be reached by volunteers, organizations and
others via the contact form at http://tinyurl.com/4x7w3l3

Ralph Pichie
Technical Writer, Web Developer & IT Consultant

My Car Flowith Over with Donations

At this rate, we are totally going to need to rent an SUV just to get out of Camrose! On a break right now, and just want to say thanks to my coworkers at The Bethany Group for their generosity. I have some families I am dropping things off to today in Edmonton, and know they will appreciate it. Now gotta call Enterprise or someone haha.

BC District Issues a Challange

Wow, this is cool. They know what northern Alberta is going through, and they are stepping it up!

The District of Barriere (in British Columbia) who was ravaged by wildfire in 2003 has put a link on our municipal website to your site. Mayor and Council are making personal donations and will be submitting them to the Scotia Bank tomorrow. Thanks for the information on your site as to this relief fund.
Our Mayor and Council will also be putting out a challenge to all other municipality Council’s to match their contributions or exceed them as well as encouraging our own residents to step up and help Slave Lake.

Spruce Grove and Saskatchewan Amazing-ness

Peggy and crew - awesome effort!

Here is correspondence from Peggy...
Today is our last day in Walmart parking lot. We are focussed primarily on
FOOD donations as that is what the coordinators in Alberta have told us is
needed most. We will still have a semi collecting other items, but food is
our focus. Evacuees from Edmonton have come to our location for food and
needs already and are very welcome to come again today. Spruce Grove
Walmart 9am-9pm

And Sask is kickin butt too!

May 20th - 8 am until truck is filled
SASKATOON - Stonegate Walmart- parking lot @ 3035 Clarence Ave. S
Kindersley Transport Semi

...Donate - Toiletries (men, women, children), Diapers, Blankets, Pillows, Sleeping Bags, Water, GRAD dresses & suits. ** what would you need if put in this situation? Monetary donations are to be directed to Red Cross

Come on SK - FILL the Truck in Saskatoon - please contact
Linda Lee Thomson-Shewchuk txt/call my cell 306-547-7487 as I will be driving from Preeceville with as much as I can fit in my truck to meet up with Janine Penney (txt/call 341-8112), Tara Wilkins (txt/cell 716-1705) & Nicole from Walmart.

my ♥ is soaring, we will meet in person on Friday! by working together through a series of phone calls we have made this happen! We now need you to spread the word & come on Saskatoon and area, let's fill the SEMI going to AB!

Singing for Slave Lake

I just wanted to update everyone that our event "Singing for Slave Lake" is going to be taking place Tuesday May 31 from 5-10pm. Show will be held in Westlock, AB in the arts theatre located in Staples Secondary school and proceeds will be going to the Slave Lake relief fund to help rebuild their community. The theatre has been graciously donated by an anonomous donor. There will be a buffet style dinner being served and country music entertainment by up and coming artists from various locations. The list of performers will be confirmed shortly. Tickets will be sold in advance at 2 locations in Athabasca, 2 locations in Westlock, as well as at the door. For more information you can contact Ricki the event coordinator at urbaneventplanning@hotmail.com or Jolene at Jolene_Hildebrand@hotmail.com

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This May Make You Cry but its Incredible

Unbelievable pictures from the Slave Lake and area devistation. There are no words for this. Just watch, and grab some kleenex.


And just think of the dozens of volunteer firefighters, emergency personelle and peace officers and RCMP who were on the front lines helping to save the town... bless you all...

And don't even look at the comments, there is some super negative and awful people out there, just a warning, don't waste looking at them - besides the good ones of course!

Donations Needed

Since Red Earth and many other communities have been evacuated, the communities of High Prairie, Peace River, Valleyview, Alexandra First Nations, and Westrose are hosting new evacuees. Of course the name Slave Lake is on this site, but we want to be here to help EVERYONE!

High Prairie - to help call the food bank 780-523-5777

Peace River - Misery Mountain 780-624-4881

As for Valleyview, Westrose and Alexandra First Nation I am not sure where to donate, so if you do - comment below for everyone to know! Maybe we can get some of the Calgary & Edmonton trucks that are on hold sent there! And if you are coordinating in those communities, let us know what you need!!!!

Shoot for Slave Lake

This is totally awesome! Created this on facebook and photographers from the maritimes are even getting involved! What’s neat is, not only are they encouraging people to donate money by getting a proof of donation before giving the donator a free photoshoot, but they are going to give back in the fall, come to Slave Lake and area, and give families FREE photoshoots. And not just that! Usually when you win a free shoot you have to pay for proofs. NOT WITH THIS! Not only are they going above and beyond already, but Shoot for Slave Lake is going to give the families a disk with all the edited pictures, absolute professional quality.

WOW is all I have to say, this is amazing! So many lost their pictures, and now all these photographers involved are getting money donated to the red cross and will be coming to Slave Lake and area this fall to do these photo shoots (possibly at the Smith Fall Fair or another weekend close to it.)

How great is this? Please like on facebook and show your proof of donation to not only get your free photoshoot, but ensure the people who’ve lost everything get theirs.

Check out Erin’s thoughts below…

Last night I went to bed wondering what I could do to help out the victims of the tragic fires in Slave Lake. I wanted to do something unique and heartfelt. When I woke up this morning it came to me. If someone brought me proof (receipt) of a cash donation to the red cross or some other relief effort specific to Slave Lake Alberta, I in turn would do a free shoot for them. It only took a few short hours for someone to snap up that opportunity. I think its great because not only does it get people giving, but it also gives them something in return. I am calling all photogs across Alberta, across Canada wherever to please follow my lead if you wish. I have started this page so that we may network and so that we can all showcase some of the work we have done related to this :) There are no rules or regulations to how you do this. I simply wanted to share this concept. All I simply asked for was proof of reciept for a cash donation (equivalent to what I would charge for my session). I also stated it had to be a local shoot to my area, and that it had to be completed within the next week. I hope everyone will follow my lead and also pass the word on to any photogs you know. Hugs & Prayers to everyone from Slave Lake


Thanks Bond-o Communications

Massive appreciation to Bond-o Communications from Stettler who are not only doing a massive donation coordination through the Kinettes (Allison and crew have talked to Athabasca and are sending a trailer this week), but she has DONATED an air card for me to use the next 5 days while I am in Smith helping out, so I can keep the site going - you are the best Allison!

Heading Home

Well tomorrow after work I am starting my journey north, to Edmonton, stopping at CISN and Virgin radio who have gift cards at their donation sites that will be dropped off at the biggest gathering of evacuees - Athabasca. (Excess cards can be passed to other sites.)

The scene has been described to as amazing and heartbreaking, filled with selfless acts everyday of Albertans wanting to help out the devistation and awful thing that the people of northern Alberta are going through.

Slave Lake has been described as a war zone, the air quality bad, pops and mini-explosions from ammunition going off in peoples basements, the town beyond words, the air stinging your eyes, the fire almost like a bully picking and chosing which houses to take and what others to leave, and the most powerful word it has been described as is a zone looking like a holocaust.

But with the support of you, our government, businesses, and the pure kind amazing generosity, it will be rebuilt, we will persevere. Hang in there evacuees. We are here for you.

CISN FM Wow and Convoys

Too many links to post! Just check out their website and click away for the blogs, pictures and amazing donation efforts from CISN FM in Edmonton. www.cisnfm.com

Much like their major famous Alberta Beef Convoy, we are hoping to team up with team CISN and organize a convoy of donations helping Alberta Fire Victims style!

With them once residents are back in Slave Lake and help out all the areas that have been devistated by this fire, including Canyon Creek, Widewater, Red Earth and more! So if you can't donate now, hang onto them, and like we said our goal is to get CISN on board, other stations, the province, and plan a big trip north. What we need first is this fire to be put out than we will need...

A massive warehouse in the Slave Lake/Athabasca/Westlock region to house these donations to residents can come "shop there" (for free of course) and get what they need. We ain't stoppin this website until the area is standing strong on both feet. We can work together to make this happen. So whether its storing donations at home, getting someone to donate a C Can to your community to house them, or whatever - we can make this work!

Eventually, we're gonna roll this 'truckin convoy to help our friends in Slave Lake!

The Media who are Rockin It!

Thanks to the Radio Community who has been AWESOME!!!!

CBC Radio in Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary

Country 105, CISN FM, 630 CHED, and Chorus Radio...

CFCW, The Fox, The Eagle, Newcap Radio Alberta

Big Country XX in Grande Prairie

Thanks for all your support on this, much appreciated! We hope to help as many evacuees as possible! If I missed anyone, sorry!

Thanks to the newspapers: Camrose Canadian, Fox Creek’s Fox in Focus, and The Olds Albertan!
TV, we hope you can help... Have tried to get ahold of the stations in Edmonton with calls and emails – just wanting to get them to let evacuees know about this resource – this is our #1 goal! (If anyone knows how to get ahold of CTV or Global, please pass on this site so we can get the word out)

And we have some success stories; evacuees are finding accommodations through our website!!!!!!

God Bless you who are taking strangers into your homes who have nothing right now and making them feel welcome.

For any info, email angie.mcconnell@hotmail.com









The Unsung Hero's of the Fires

Who are the unsung heros? The volunteer fire fighters and emergency personelle thats who!

Some of these men and women from Slave Lake, Smith, High Prairie and area fire departments were on scene for more than 32 hours straight, with no sleep or an hour here or there. They fought on the front lines, to save houses, neighborhoods, the Slave Lake hospital, and to get the public to safety. The RCMP, MDs, Peace Officers and those who were working too helped out, while everyone else was sent to safety, they all stayed behind to help save the towns and hamlets.

These people attend weekly, bi-weekly and/or monthly meetings and get training on a VOLUNTEER ongoing basis. They risk their lives, fight fires, respond to accidents and are usually on call most of their days. They carry beepers or radios, and are called at every hour of the day to respond, no matter what the road or weather conditions. They've seen unimagineable horror and carnage, devistation, but also hope.

A salute to all the emergency personelle who were there over the weekend, and are still there, and have come running to the disaster area, to help Slave Lake and area, and the rest of this fine province, battle these fires.

We would like to thank the volunteers from Nova Scotia who recognize the sacrifice and sent this email, and are sending a cheque to the Slave Lake department and their volunteers:

My name is Michelle Coolen. I am from Elmsdale, Nova Scotia. I worked with Slave Lake Air/ Ground Ambulance for 3 years. Here at our Volunteer fire department in Nova Scotia we are taking donations for Slave refugees! I am hoping to fly out next week to take the donations out myself.

I have been approached by a few of the volunteer departments down here asking who would they write a cheque out to for the fire department in slave? We would like the money being donated from the halls to go to their hall.

Keep up the great work! Its nice to see everyone coming together to help out the town i called home not even two years ago. It makes me proud to say that I was a member of a great town that will rise out of the ashes and take on all they can handle and more!

This news just came last week for Alberta Volunteer Fire Fighters, thank you Alberta Government!

The provincial government has extended workers’ compensation benefits to the province’s 10,000 volunteer, part-time and casual firefighters.

In an amendment introduced Tuesday and expected to pass this week, volunteer firefighters suffering from work-related cancer will receive the same benefits as full-time firefighters.
“Whether they are putting themselves at risk as professional, full-time firefighters or professional, part-time volunteer firefighters, it is our duty to protect them,” Employment and Immigration minister Thomas Lukaszuk said.

For the rest of the story from the Edmonton Journal go to http://www.edmontonjournal.com/story_print.html?id=4760699&sponsor=