WestJet, Canadian North praised for bending the rules to evacuate pets from Fort McMurray fire

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FORT MCMURRAY — Alberta’s provincial government has released an app that will give residents of wildfire-ravaged Fort McMurray a good look at their properties.

Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee warned Sunday, May 15th that viewing the satellite images may be traumatic.

A number for Alberta’s Mental Health Help Line is included in Larivee’s news release.

She says the maps are intended to provide satellite overviews of the city following a massive wildfire that ignited almost two weeks ago, forcing more than 80,000 residents to evacuate and destroying more than 2,400 structures in Fort McMurray.

But firefighters managed to save 85 to 90 percent of the oil sands capital.

Larivee says that having lived through a devastating fire and evacuation herself five years ago, she knows how stressful it can be to wait for updates on which homes have been lost.

Canadian airlines WestJet and Canadian North have been helping evacuate residents and deliver relief supplies to the area.

Generally, the airlines charge fees and have strict rules about allowing pets on board. However, many Fort McMurray residents were not able to grab crates from their homes — or much of anything else — before being evacuated.

WestJet officials said they’re working closely with officials to help get people out of affected areas, using airstrips at private oil fields.

A Twitter user posted a photo of dog aboard a WestJet plane, thanking the airline.

WestJet has also donated $25,000 to the Red Cross.

3 comments

  • Michael Neils

    This is great. I don’t think my wife -and me-would do well having to leave our dog and cat behind.

  • FK

    Kudos West Jet and Canadian North! May you prosper and grow. Thank you from all of us and continued success. Congrats for going above and beyond and stepping up when it counted the most.

  • Elmer Fudd

    Either airline “bent the rules” as these flights were chartered flights they do not fall under the same rules as a regular scheduled airline flight . Billion dollar airlines don’t just bend the rules.

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