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Fort McMurray evacuees given shelter in University of Calgary residence

By Scott Strasser, May 6 2016 —

The University of Calgary has opened its doors to displaced residents of Fort McMurray fleeing the city and surrounding areas due to escalating forest fires.

As of 5:00 p.m. May 6, around 40 evacuees have been given temporary accommodation in vacant U of C residence buildings. Buses carrying evacuees will continue to arrive throughout the weekend.

According to U of C manager of media relations Marina Geronazzo, the university will be able to accommodate up to 380 people. They will be housed in different residence buildings according to individual needs.

“The University of Calgary is pleased to be able to support evacuees during this extremely difficult time,” Geronazzo said. “We will be working closely with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency to provide temporary accommodation and support as needed.”

The faculty of veterinary medicine is also chipping in by offering shelter and care for pets and small animals.

Around 88,000 Fort McMurray residents have evacuated the city since May 1.

The wildfire affecting northern Alberta is expected to double in size to more than 200,000 hectares — an area three times the size of Edmonton.

Vacant U of C residences last housed evacuees following the June 2013 flood, when just under 1,200 people were lodged.


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