COVID numbers soar as town remembers anniversary of wildfires

A Northern Alberta town declared a state of emergency earlier this week, after COVID numbers soared making it one of highest hit areas of the province.  But it coincides as Fort McMurray, is about to commemorate a somber anniversary. 

Many Canadians will remember back to May 1, 2016, when a wildfire began southwest of Fort McMurray and on May 3, it swept through the community, forcing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history, with more than  88,000 people forced from their homes. 

The nation watched as horrifying footage of fire ripped through the community.  Now, five years later, the majority of the community has been re-built but Mayor Don Scott says it’s still not quite the same. 

Watch the full interview with BCN’s Jeannette Rocher and Don Scott, mayor of the Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

Jeannette Rocher

Born in Puerto Rico, raised in Minnesota and Manitoba, Jeannette has had the opportunity to live in a variety of places including New York, Arizona, and Nevada. After completing college and a paid internship with CBC Winnipeg, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, murder cases and other substantial court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV. She now calls Miracle Channel home. In addition to reporting in the field, you can catch her anchoring daily weather reports, as well as longer interview segments on BCN, and the week-in-review show on BCN Weekends. 

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