Fort McMurray Fire and Travelling in Alberta
The devastating fires in Fort McMurray and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have attracted worldwide attention. Our thoughts and support remain with all of those affected by this crisis, the emergency responders and our fellow Albertans who have opened their hearts and homes to their neighbours.
The impacted areas are located in Alberta’s northeastern region, approximately 400 km north of Edmonton and about 700 km north of Calgary. Based on initial assessments, approximately 10 per cent of the infrastructure in the Fort McMurray area has been lost, although crews have managed to secure the city itself and remain active in northern Alberta.
It is important to note that Alberta’s mountain resort areas in the Canadian Rockies, unique sites in the Canadian Badlands and its vibrant urban and rural communities throughout the rest of the province are not impacted by the fires, and they remain open and accessible. Alberta’s international airports in Edmonton and Calgary are also unaffected.
“Our government remains focused on this active fire zone, with our first priority being public safety and the well-being of those who have been displaced by the fires,” said Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ricardo Miranda. “However, we continue to welcome visitors from around the world to our beautiful tourist destinations.”
“With the world’s focus on Fort McMurray, many travellers have wondered whether it is safe to travel throughout the rest of Alberta,” said Travel Alberta CEO Royce Chwin. “Alberta is as vast as it is varied in its landscapes and experiences, and our resilient province is open for travellers.”
The Government of Alberta continues to ensure that the public remains informed about the scope of these fires and any potential impact on travel within the province. Travellers may wish to consult the following resources for regular updates on conditions and road closures:
While the majority of destinations across the province remain open for business, many of Fort McMurray’s tourism operators have been affected. The Government of Alberta and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo are in the process of assessing the impact on the area and are prepared to work with partners on the next steps when appropriate. The best place for travellers to find up-to-date, tourism-related information about this and other regions of the province is through Travel Alberta’s website, travelalberta.com.
Travel Alberta will continue to work with its tourism partners, the Government of Alberta and Alberta’s emergency service agencies to keep Albertans and visitors informed. It will remain active on digital channels, engaging with travellers and pointing them in the right direction for information related to roadways, visitor centres and affected areas.
Alberta is a strong, caring and resilient province. We have rallied together to support Fort McMurray in this time of crisis – a testament to the kindness and hospitality of Albertans. We are extremely thankful for the support from individuals, businesses and travellers from around the world who stand with our fellow Albertans and industry partners through this difficult time.