First Person Accounts

Stories From Those Who Were There

"I felt like I was in a war zone, with auxiliary light, people everywhere in shock, not knowing what to do. Beside me a man plugged his ventilator into the generator to help his breathing."

— Darren Fulmore, Councillor (Emeritus)

A Message from Reeve Emeritus Denny Garratt

As a long-time resident, and as a past Council member and Reeve of Lesser Slave River, I have seen a great many things. But I have never before experienced anything to rival the fear, dread and utter devastation that the wildfires of spring 2011 brought to our region.

Ironically, one of my darkest hours as Reeve was also one of my proudest moments. I saw my fellow Councillors and municipal employees work side by side and do their utmost to provide for the safety and comfort of our residents. I saw communities from across the province open their arms to our evacuees and help us douse the flames. I was witness to the best the human spirit has to offer.

Our collective community has been through a great deal in recent months. We've endured wildfires and flooding, and our families and neighbours have faced heartbreaking hardship and staggering losses. Despite these blows, however, we have displayed resiliency, strength, and a positive outlook for which we have become known. We are indeed a "rugged and real" people who have not only weathered the storm, but continue to thrive in our families, our businesses and our communities at large.

As I look back, I have a heart full of gratitude and respect for the tireless efforts of everyone involved in our rescue. And as I look forward, I have no doubt in our ability to recover.

Reeve Garratt
Denny Garratt
Reeve, MD of Lesser Slave River (Emeritus)
Denny Garratt was Reeve of the MD during the May 200 wildfires.
Denny Garratt was Reeve of the MD during the May 2011 wildfires.

Jennifer harper's Story

We did our shopping, came out and put the groceries in the vehicle, as we were sitting there Dale said, “Is that smoke coming from…

Charlie macDonald's Story

Being new meant the town was a place where disorientation flourished, and there were many new faces with a swarm of problems and requests requiring…

Vanessa Houston's Story

With the help of our local peace officer and a few town employees, we were able to set up a temporary holding facility at the…

Rick Mundt's Story

This is an event that I do not want to discuss in detail, however it has been requested for reasons I believe in. I will…

Annette Kay's Story

I was called late Saturday afternoon to come into the MD office to help with fire evacuation calls as there was a fire burning south…

Darren Fulmore's Story

There were a large number of vehicles that had made it into our community but did not have enough fuel to go on. Fortunately a…

Karen Dierker's Story

On May 14th, we were put on a two hour evacuation notice, which we are so grateful for. Because of that notice, we were able…

Jodi Broadhead's Story

The communities in the MD of Lesser Slave River should take a moment to thank and recognize the small town heroes who fought the fires…

Kelly Adelman's Story

On May 14, my husband and I were outside doing some yard work when we saw the first bomber fly over. It was incredibly windy…

Allan Winarski's Story

Saturday afternoon I headed to the MD office after learning of the advance of the Grizzly Ridge Fire. Staff and Council started filtering in as…
MD administration offices are open from Monday to Friday between 8:15am and 4:30pm.
Main Office: Box 722 - 3000, 15th Ave SE, Slave Lake, AB
T:780.849.4888  F:1.866.449.4888
Sub-office: 660061 Range Road 20, Flatbush, AB
T:780.681.3929  F:1.866.681.3929




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