Lifelong Fort McMurray resident Jeremy Irla was in shock over the fire that took over the town where he was raised — and outraged by what he sees as governments' sluggish response to the crisis.
"Two days to send army support and national relief is a joke," he said. "Our city will be gone. Provincial and federal support is shameful."
Irla, a Metis Fort McMurray resident who used to help organize "Get up and Go Wood Buffalo" -- Fort McMurray's annual celebration of community and family -- said all levels of governments have been falling short in their efforts to help people to safety.
Over 85,000 people have been evacuated this week in what has become the largest wildfire disaster in Alberta's history.
"I have friends still trapped north of the city on camps. They're out of gas and stranded. Municipal, provincial and federal government still haven't sent help to get hem out of there. Over 10,000 people stranded doesn't justify any of our leaders getting planes up there to fly people out."
On Wednesday, CH-146 Griffon helicopters landed to help Fort McMurray fight the wildfire, Global news reported.
Prime Minister Trudeau today announced that the government would be matching donations to the Red Cross (text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate 5$, or through website. Donations by phone can be made by calling 1-800-418-1111).
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has been the target of criticism for cutting $15 million from the wildfire management budget. After initially defending the decision in April, she said on May 2 — before the evacuation order was issued — that more money would be added should the need arise.
Irla says some oil companies have stepped in to help people access basic necessities since the evacuation started.
"Shell has been amazing, flying their staff and families out, giving them food and hotels and money in Edmonton," Irla said. Other companies, like Suncor and Nexen, have opened their camps and facilities to people who fled their homes.
"All I can say is that everything is gone. Thank God for the people of Alberta's generosity, and the oil sands companies that have been helping get people out of the danger zone. Most of my family and friends have already lost everything. Continue praying for our community."