Mindy Francis purchased her home just two weeks ago. But two days ago she was forced to leave that new home behind, as she and tens of thousands of other Fort McMurray residents were ordered to evacuate due to a raging wildfire.
LIVE COVERAGE: Fort McMurray wildfires
Like so many others, Francis, her husband and their five kids packed up the car and began to head towards shelter in Sherwood Park, Alta., to stay with family – but what struck her the most was the eerie sense of calm amongst so much chaos.
“When we were leaving it was eerily calm – no one was panicking, no one was acting crazy, or rash,” she told Global News Thursday.
“It was so calm – people were helping people, everyone was following traffic laws. I just wanted to remain calm for my kids. I just told myself trust the professionals; trust the men directing us and telling us where to go.”
Francis’ description paints quite a different picture than the images and videos that have been shared depicting narrow escapes from Fort McMurray as fires rage on.
However, despite the sheer size of the evacuation, no injuries or fatalities have been reported so far – as many have pointed out on Twitter.
But Francis’ isn’t surprised – this, she said, is a reflection of how strong the community is.
“So many people are so giving,” she said, explaining that her kids have been busy playing on the bouncy castle the people they are staying with rented for them. “If our home is safe and untouched I will do everything in my power to help those in need.”