On May 3, 2016, the City of Fort McMurray was home to one of the largest disasters in Canadian history. There was a wildfire burning outside the city that rapidly raged out of control and began to burn through multiple neighbourhoods at the same time. Those neighbourhoods had to be quickly evacuated. Within short order, the entire city of 88,000 people was under a mandatory evacuation order. The RCMP Wood Buffalo Detachment were called upon to provide front-line support to assist with the overwhelming efforts to safely remove the citizens from the area.
Wood Buffalo Detachment's Operations Officer Inspector Mark Hancock was the Incident Commander at the onset of the wildfire and throughout the first critical week of this disaster. Mark’s presentation will focus on the critical initial response and evacuations, as well as the ongoing issues throughout the disaster, and the follow up, with police securing property and managing the later re-entry of community residents once the wildfires were controlled.
Partnerships with key stakeholders within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, the Province of Alberta and with other organizations, including industry, first responders and many others were essential in dealing with the largest natural disaster in Canadian history.
Speaker: Inspector Mark Hancock, Investigative Services at the RCMP Wood Buffalo Detachment, Fort McMurray, Alberta