October 6, 2017 / By Aithra
Back in 2016, a wildfire broke out southwest of Fort McMurray, AB, forcing the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history. The exact number of people who were forced out of their homes was 88,000. The fire destroyed 2,400 buildings, citizens’ homes included. The evacuation lasted nearly a month, starting from May 3rd till June 1st, 2016. This devastating fire was one of Canada’s costliest disasters in Canadian history, totaling $3.58 billion of insured damages, $9.5 billion of direct and indirect costs. The burned area covered 589,552 hectares, demanding the authorities to call in firefighting crews from all over the country and beyond.
Aithra was fortunate enough to be on the front lines. Having such an experienced and diverse group of people working tirelessly to do everything possible to provide living accommodations for the fire crews, made a huge difference. The working conditions were very challenging from the near by fire, being surrounded by smoke with an urgency to get the fire under control and equipment in place quickly. This project is something Aithra Projects is very proud of.
Aithra worked diligently in the Fort McMurray from May 4th till July 18th, with a crew of twenty-five people and setting up two hundred and fifty loads of camp equipment. Several camps were installed; Horse River Fire Camp, Keyano College, Mac Island, Fort McMurray Fire Hall No.2, 3,4 and Lewyk Park campgrounds to accommodate the fire fighting crews.
The main ASRD fire base camp was constructed over a 6-week period and contained of 126 equipment loads of modules and site service support equipment. The camp was made up of living accommodations, kitchen diner, multiple dry and wet sleepers, offices, wash cars, laundry units and support equipment for site services.
The Lewyk park campground was converted into the second largest fire camp. This fire camp was made up primarily of well site accommodations and operated on camp ground site services. The other locations housed support equipment for the RCMP and Firefighters, including decontamination and wash car units.
This terrible disaster that affected Canada last year was very tragic for numerous people and their homes. However, the Aithra Projects team was there to help every step of the way. Together we did an amazing job at reducing the negative effects as much as we possibly could.
Our company’s crew handled with the stressful work environment unbelievably well, knowing they were making a difference. Supporting those fire firefighting efforts that work around the clock to protect a city that was in need. We delivered what was expected of us and provided the best accommodations.