New report on Abasand and Beacon Hill areas

Waterways is still under government investigation

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

New report_BeaconHill

The wildfire aftermath in a Beacon Hill neighbourhood on May 9. Photo by Tim O’Rourke, Connect Weekly.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) has issued a new progress report that indicates the work completed to allow a safe re-occupation of standing homes in Abasand and Beacon Hill.

According to a release, the standing homes in the areas have been “divided into a first and second phase, with the first phase being homes which are father away from the debris field.”

With a collaborated effort with Alberta Health Services (AHS), the Government of Canada (GOA), and the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH), the Municipality plans to secure the areas are deemed safe from potential hazards or harm.

Shortly following the wildfire, the RMWB allowed the installation of over 64 kilometers of safety fencing, as well as additional layers of tackifier on the devastated areas.

The August 4 release also states, “Municipal staff have made significant progress flushing and cleaning the water distribution network in Abasand and Beacon Hill. Flushing is nearly complete, at which point bacteria testing will confirm the potability of water in those areas.”

As for the Waterways sub-division, the RMWB and GOA are currently investigating the measures of safety to re-occupy the area.

The release explained: “Safety continues to be top priority for the Municipality, necessitating deeper study of the risks associated with rebuilding in the Waterways flood plain.”

As of August 4, a total of 732 Demolition Permit applications have been received by the RMWB and 419 permits have been issued, including homes in the restricted areas. Over the course of the August long weekend, 310 of these outstanding permit applications were received and there have been 51 post-demolition inspections.

A further progress report will be issued on August 11. Residents can view full reports online at

– Connect Weekly –