City of Red Deer reaches out to Fort McMurray evacuees

Red Deer Transit fares and admission to city recreation centres will be free for Fort McMurray and area evacuees.

Red Deer Transit fares and admission to city recreation centres will be free for Fort McMurray and area evacuees.

Lions Campground is also offering free camping for those who had to evacuate their homes as a result of the wildfires.

“We stand strong with our neighbours to the north and we’re at the ready to provide any and all support requested by the Provincial Operations Centre,” said City Manager Craig Curtis. “Closer to home, we’re hoping that we can bring some comfort to evacuees by offering some of our City services at no cost.”

Curtis said on Friday morning that Red Deer is speaking to the province about potentially setting up a reception centre. More details are expected today.

Evacuees who land in Red Deer are encouraged to call the Red Cross registration line at 1-888-350-6070 or call 211 for information.

Services offered to evacuated residents:

*Red Deer Transit – Free fares on all transit routes for one month with proof of residency from evacuated areas shown to the transit operator.

*City recreation facilities – Free admission for one month with proof of residency from evacuated areas shown at Customer Service. For a list of facilities, please visit: www.reddeer.ca/recfacilities.

*Lions Campground, 4723 Riverside Drive – Free camping for one month with proof of residency from evacuated areas. For more information, visit www.reddeerlionscampground.com or call 403-342-8183.

* Rooms are also set aside at the Holiday Inn in Gasoline Alley for evacuees.

Mayor Tara Veer said many Red Deerians have expressed a desire to contribute to the relief efforts, and this outpouring of support is a reflection of our city’s welcoming and compassionate nature.”

Here’s how Red Deerians can help:

*Donate money to a registered charity that is assisting in the relief efforts, such as the Red Cross or United Way.

*The Edmonton Emergency Relief Services is coordinating donation efforts in Edmonton and is specifically requesting donations of diapers, baby wipes, new toiletries such as soap and shampoo and new socks and underwear. They are also looking for volunteers. For more information, call 780-428-4422 or visit their Facebook page.

*Many other local initiatives are being undertaken by businesses and organizations in Red Deer. Please contact these organizations directly for details.