NEW YORK, NY – IATSE is deeply concerned about the raging wildfires in Fort McMurray, which have spread to over 85,000 hectares of land and the entire city, numbering over 80,000, has been evacuated. IATSE International President Matthew Loeb noted, “This is the largest fire-based evacuation in the history in Alberta and probably in the history of Canada. The IATSE is eager to provide any assistance we can.” Toward that end, the International has made a donation of $5,000 to the Red Cross: Alberta Fires Emergency Appeal and encourages locals to make their own donations as well.
Aid is coming from across the country, with the province of Ontario sending 100 firefighters to help battle the flames, and the province of Quebec sending four air tankers. There are already 100 firefighters, 10 helicopters and 16 air tankers working continuously to protect infrastructure. International Vice President Damian Petti, who is based out of Calgary, confirmed that “Calgary Local 212 and Edmonton Local 210 have been working to organize supplies, donations, and provide emergency shelter to evacuees. It is a challenging time for Albertans, but I’m heartened to see the outpouring of support from people all across North America.”