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A large wildfire burned through Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada and its surrounding area from Saturday, May 14, 2011 through Monday, May 16, 2011. The conflagration, which originated 15 kilometres (9 mi) outside of town as a forest fire, was quickly pushed past fire barriers designed to protect the town by 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) winds. The fire forced the complete evacuation of Slave Lake's 7,000 residents—considered the largest such displacement in the province's history at the time—to the nearby towns of Athabasca and Westlock, as well as the provincial capital of Edmonton. No casualties were reported amongst the town's population, but a pilot was killed when his helicopter crashed while he was battling the fires around the community.

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dbo:abstract
  • A large wildfire burned through Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada and its surrounding area from Saturday, May 14, 2011 through Monday, May 16, 2011. The conflagration, which originated 15 kilometres (9 mi) outside of town as a forest fire, was quickly pushed past fire barriers designed to protect the town by 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) winds. The fire forced the complete evacuation of Slave Lake's 7,000 residents—considered the largest such displacement in the province's history at the time—to the nearby towns of Athabasca and Westlock, as well as the provincial capital of Edmonton. No casualties were reported amongst the town's population, but a pilot was killed when his helicopter crashed while he was battling the fires around the community. The fire destroyed roughly one-third of Slave Lake; 374 properties were destroyed and 52 damaged in the town, and another 59 were destroyed and 32 damaged in the surrounding Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124, leaving 732 residents homeless. The town hall was completely gutted by the fire, as was the library and radio station. The hospital, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) station and schools remained standing, however. Insurable damage was estimated at C$750 million, making it the second costliest insured disaster in the country's history at the time. An RCMP investigation concluded that the cause of the fire was arson; however, no arrests were made. The disaster prompted an outpouring of support from across the province, and across Canada. The Canadian Red Cross and disaster relief agencies in Edmonton were inundated with donations—enough that they asked people to no longer make donations directly at the evacuation centres. ATB Financial offered to defer mortgage and loan payments for affected residents, while a Calgary-based rental company offered rental suites in Edmonton to displaced residents free of charge for three months. The provincial government promised $50 million in immediate aid to the town. (en)
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  • Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada (en)
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  • --05-16
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  • --05-16
  • NASA satellite image of wildfires burning in Alberta on (en)
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  • A large wildfire burned through Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada and its surrounding area from Saturday, May 14, 2011 through Monday, May 16, 2011. The conflagration, which originated 15 kilometres (9 mi) outside of town as a forest fire, was quickly pushed past fire barriers designed to protect the town by 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) winds. The fire forced the complete evacuation of Slave Lake's 7,000 residents—considered the largest such displacement in the province's history at the time—to the nearby towns of Athabasca and Westlock, as well as the provincial capital of Edmonton. No casualties were reported amongst the town's population, but a pilot was killed when his helicopter crashed while he was battling the fires around the community. (en)
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