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The May 2011 Wildfires

A story of regional crisis and recovery.

The dense forest throughout Lesser Slave River adds to our region's rugged mystique. However, our most abundant natural asset can also pose a very real danger to lives, homes and livelihoods when wind direction, moisture codes and other variables conspire.
In the early afternoon of Saturday, May 14, 2011, conditions for disaster to strike could not have aligned with more devastating precision. This section of the MD website provides a chronicle of the region's crisis, recovery and stoic endurance.

Ten-Year Wildfire Retrospective

A decade after one of Canada's worst natural disasters, the leaders of Lesser Slave River, Sawridge First Nation and the Town of Slave Lake sat down for a solemn look back at the devastation of the May 2011 wildfires, and a chat about how far their communities have come since that fateful day.
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Vignette: Sawridge First Nation

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Vignette: Lesser Slave River

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Vignette: Town of Slave Lake

Click the icons below to jump to the different areas in this section.
Disaster Timeline

Disaster Timeline

A chronology of the first few days.
Evacuation Efforts

Evacuation Efforts

Displacing thousands within days.
Joint Emergency Ops

Joint Emergency Ops

Working as one toward a common goal.
The Aftermath

The Aftermath

Finding our way through the wreckage.
First Person Accounts

First Person Accounts

Stories from those who were there.
Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned

Insights on crisis and recovery.
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Welcome to Lesser Slave River

Just a few hours due north of Edmonton lies the remarkable region of Lesser Slave River. From breathtaking expanses of boreal forest and unspoiled natural wonders to a thriving economy and genuine work/life balance, opportunities abound.

Here you'll discover a place of rugged beauty. A place of real people. A place you'll never want to leave.

Reeve Murray Kerik
Municipal District of Lesser Slave River no. 124