Brian Jean, leader of the Official Opposition Wildrose and Alberta MLA for Fort McMurray-Conklin, confirmed to Global News his house was destroyed in the Fort McMurray wildfire.
“I understand, from speaking to my nephew about two hours ago, that my own home is in flames now. I’m afraid that huge parts of Fort McMurray may burn tonight and tomorrow,” Jean said Tuesday evening.
“I’m hoping for the best, but I’m expecting the worst.”
On Wednesday, the Wildrose party sent Global News a picture of what’s left of Jeans’ home.
Jean was driving to Fort McMurray Tuesday and had been taking phone calls from family and friends who were evacuated.
“The thing that needs to happen right now is people need to concentrate on evacuating. We have to convince all people to evacuate.”
Jean said some people may want to stay and protect their homes, but urged his constituents to remember what’s really important.
“This is my home. Properties don’t matter, lives are all that matters,” he said. “We don’t want to see any deaths here, or injuries, serious injuries and we need to do that before it’s too late.”
Watch below: Dramatic video from the Fort McMurray wildfire
Jean added that there is only one road north and south through Fort McMurray and stressed the importance of obeying the instructions of emergency officials. He said insurance will cover the losses of physical structures.
Watch below: Ongoing video coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfire.
“We can come back and we can rebuild. Fort McMurray is the greatest city in my opinion in the world,” he boasted. “We are strong, resilient people and we will do whatever is necessary to build our home back up to the standard, if not better than it was before.”
This wildfire is not the first Jean has had to deal with. Nearly five years ago, in May 2011, he recalled being in Slave Lake.
“I was actually the Member of Parliament for Slave Lake when that fire took place and this fire feels just like that. It’s going to be devastating and I’m very concerned for the people themselves.”
WATCH: Wildrose Leader Brian Jean speaks to Global News about losing his home to the Fort McMurray wildfire.