After living in Fort McMurray for several years, now Airdronian Amy Paterson and her family have offered up their home to their friends from up north who are affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire and evacuation orders.

Paterson and her family moved to Airdrie last year in mid-August, they lived in the northern city for around six years (they moved up to Fort McMurray just after the last major wildfire in 2016) and made all kinds of different family friends. She now feels the need to help out in any way necessary.

"I'm just so worried about them, when we first moved up there we drove around the affected neighbourhoods from the last fire, (2016) it was so heartbreaking to see. Over the years, we just heard all the stories about everybody being resilient and strong, it's heartbreaking to hear that this could happen again."

While none of her family friends have taken up on her offer to stay with her family yet, she is in constant communication with them just in case they need a place.

"When I saw the evacuation notice, I messaged our friends asking if they were okay and what was happening. Even though their stress will be high, I hope I can ease that a little bit."

Paterson stated it's tough to wrap her head around what they are going through right now let alone those who are going through it for a second time. Paterson also put out the call on Facebook asking if anybody has trailers that won't be in use this weekend so if people do come down they would have a place to stay if their house gets too full.

"I have seen two people offer help for sure if needed, one woman messaged privately and she seemed very sweet. It's nice knowing more people are willing to help if needed."

Paterson went on to talk about how everybody in Fort McMurray is like one big family, if anything goes wrong and you need help, they would have always been there if needed.

"When we were living there every time there was smoke in the air or smell it, you could feel the anxiety and nerves from everybody. There are really good people up there that deserve our help."

As of yesterday, more than 6,600 residents have been ordered to evacuate as the wildfire nears closer and closer to Fort McMurray. Some of the affected neighbourhoods include Beacon Hill, Abasand, Prairie Creek, and Grayling Terrace. As of Wednesday, 117 firefighters and 14 helicopters have been assigned to the wildfire.

With the long weekend on the way, Airdrie and its surrounding area do not have any fire advisories, restrictions or bans in place. To see where the advisories, bans and restrictions are in place, click HERE.

The Airdrie area could see wildfire smoke from northern Alberta and British Columbia move in depending on the winds. There are currently 45 active wildfires in Alberta. Out of the 297 total fires, 236 are human-caused, one was by lightning and 85 are under investigation. Remember this long weekend about wildfire safety, do not throw smoking materials out the window and if you are in an area that is allowing campfires, make sure to keep a close eye.

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