Back in 2000, when I was 17 years old and had just graduated from high school in Eagle River, Alaska, the first thing I wanted to do was get the hell out of the US and move home to Canada. My brother Greg was living in Alberta at the time and offered me a place to stay with him. I packed my backs and moved to Calgary.

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Calgary and the province of Alberta was my home for nearly 5 years but 11 years ago today, I left Alberta and made a new home in Halifax yet Alberta still holds a piece of my heart. I had some amazing experiences and memories and some not so amazing memories and experiences. I learned a lot while living there. I became an adult in Alberta, had my first legal drink, attended university at the University of Calgary, was involved with politics with the UofC Campus Greens, learned to love the craft of creating products from scratch when I worked at Soap & More, and I made some some amazing friends that I still stay in touch with to this day. I never regret living in Alberta and I often wish I could afford to go visit again. The last few days, my thoughts have been filled with the time I spent in Alberta.

For those of you outside of Canada, probably are unaware of the situation that is currently arise in Northern Alberta, in Fort McMurray to be exact.

Fire.

And I don’t mean a small forest fire. I mean a huge, uncontrollable, wildfire from hell. A fire that has destroyed a city in ways that have never been seen before in Canadian history. 80,000 people have been evacuated and nearly 2,000 homes and structures have been lost so far – and the fire isn’t even out yet as I write this. No one knows what the final destruction will be.

When the voluntary evacuation started on Tuesday, the fire wasn’t as out of control as it would be a few hours later when northerly winds blew through Fort Mac spreading the fire at a rate that was beyond control. People leaving voluntarily during the early evacuations thought that they would be back in a day so only packed a few overnight items and hoped for the best. They left behind family heirlooms, photos, treasured items….and often, their animals. And we’re not just talking about people having to leave their cats and dogs…we’re talking about people with horses and other farm animals too. The people of Fort Mac thought that they would be coming home – now many of them, no longer have a home to go home to.

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Animal Rescue Groups from not only Alberta, but even in surrounding provinces have offered to help. You can help too. Please consider donating to the Fort McMurrary Wildfire Donation Relief Fund. that has been set up with the Edmonton Humane Society & Animal Care & Control Centre – Edmonton (ACCC).

Click on the banner below to donate!

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You can also donate to the Canadian Red Cross, and all individual donations will be matched by the Government of Canada

Red Cross Fort Mac Emergency Appeal
You can read more about the Fort Mac Wildfire Disaster here.