Edmonton’s Rainbow Valley Campground is doing its part to ensure Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees have a place to call home in the short term.
Since the evacuations on May 3, they’ve been fielding phone calls from residents needing a place to stay with their tent or trailer.
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The campground decided to offer up all available spaces to evacuees at no cost. As of Tuesday morning, that meant 28 spaces — all of which are full.
Rainbow Valley is still honouring existing reservations, but for the time being is not taking any new ones. The campground has told evacuees they can stay as long as they need.
“We’ve decided to let them stay at no charge for as long as they need to be here,” Tim Day, with Rainbow Valley/Snow Valley, said.
The campground also offers bathrooms, showers and WiFi.
“This is our first camping trip ever,” evacuee Nicole Rockwell said. She was there with her young son. “It was not what we expected it would be, but it’s been good so far.”
“It’s just so heart-warming,” Fort McMurray resident Leon Chiasson said. “The people from Edmonton are opening their homes, their hearts, to us. I feel really grateful.”
Chiasson said he didn’t want to take up space at an evacuation centre.
“We’re taken care of here,” he said. “We’re comfortable. We have everything we need and I feel like all the people that need those resources should be there first.”
But, the last few nights have been pretty cold.
ArrKann is hoping to put a roof over their heads by lending five trailers to evacuees.
“Some of the families didn’t have trailers so we’re going to get some trailers down here this week for some of the families that need a place to stay and just help how we can,” Rob Minarchi, ArrKann Trailer sales director said.
West of Edmonton, Glowing Embers RV Park in Acheson is also helping evacuees by offering discounted rates.
They’re trying to make space for any evacuees that still need a place to park their trailer.
In the town of Devon, the Lions Campground in the North Saskatchewan River valley is also offering discounted rates for Fort McMurray evacuees, for as long as needed.
#yeg area campgrounds are stepping up to help evacuees, including Rainbow Valley, Glowing Embers and the Devon Lions Campground. #ymmfire
— Sarah Kraus Global (@SarahNKraus) May 10, 2016
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