Salvation Army Canada Responds to Catastrophic Alberta Wildfires

May 09, 2016
IHQ Communications |

Salvation Army Canada Responds to Catastrophic Alberta Wildfires

London  – A major emergency response is underway in Alberta, Canada, following wildfires that have led to the complete evacuation of the city of Fort McMurray – affecting nearly 90,000 residents and workers. The Salvation Army has deployed four community response vehicles to the scene and is supporting more than 1,100 firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel with the provision of cold drinks, snacks and full meals.

The area affected by the fires covers some 850 square kilometres (328 square miles) and has led to at least 1,600 buildings being destroyed.

The Salvation Army’s established and well-rehearsed emergency protocols ensured that the international church and charity was ready to mobilise quickly after the fires began on Sunday 1 May. Teams are working closely with other agencies to determine how best to assist and to ensure that no needs go unmet. A dedicated disaster response team has been established at the Alberta and Northern Territories Divisional Headquarters in Edmonton in order to coordinate The Salvation Army’s ongoing response.

Before the fires intensified and led to a city-wide evacuation of Fort McMurray, The Salvation Army was providing food and water, clothing and hygiene packages to displaced residents. All Salvation Army officers and staff in Fort McMurray were safely evacuated, and additional personnel have been drafted in from elsewhere in Canada.

Divisional Commander Major Ron Cartmell explains that the emergency response will continue long after the fire is brought under control: ‘Once people can return home, The Salvation Army will be present to provide practical support as well as emotional and spiritual care.’

The best way for residents of the United States to support the efforts of The Salvation Army in Canada and help survivors of the wildfires is to make a financial donation, either by phone to 1-800-SAL-ARMY or online.

Photo: A Salvation Army disaster feeding units braves a smokey road to deliver aid to first responders and firefighters in Alberta, Canada.  More photos available at via Salvation Army's international Flickr site at

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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