Lac-Mégantic residents donate money for Fort McMurray fire victims

WATCH ABOVE: The Canadian Red Cross says people from across the country have come together to help the people of Fort McMurray. So far, over $30-million has been collected for the relief effort. Global's Billy Shields reports.

LAC-MÉGANTIC, Que. – Donations poured into Lac-Mégantic from across Canada in the aftermath of the 2013 rail disaster, and now the Quebec town wants to give back by raising money for the victims of the wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta.

Mégantic-L’Erable MP Luc Berthold and Lac-Mégantic Mayor Jean-Guy Cloutier put out a call for citizens to donate to the Red Cross, and on Thursday, Cloutier said the town council would also be making a donation.

READ MORE: $75M settlement for Lac-Megantic victims made public: Former transport minister

Berthold, whose riding includes Lac-Mégantic, said residents are grateful for the support they received in the wake of the 2013 rail disaster that killed 47 people and wiped out much of the city’s downtown core.

“Three years ago it was our population that was struck down by tragedy, and all of Canada mobilized itself for us,” he said.

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“Now, it’s our turn to support this community.”

Residents “can’t help but remember what happened in 2013” when they see images of the fire ripping through the Alberta city, Berthold said.

WATCH BELOW: Response to the Fort McMurray wildfires

Based on Lac-Mégantic’s experience, he believes Fort McMurray residents will have to be patient when the time comes to rebuild.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire likely caused by humans: U of A professor

Lac-Mégantic’s main road is still not rebuilt, three years after a runaway train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded.

Berthold said the citizens of Fort McMurray will face a similar challenge.

“It’s not tomorrow morning that Fort McMurray will be the same Fort McMurray as before,” he said.

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“Maybe it will never be the same Fort McMurray.”

READ MORE: Webcam catches footage of Fort McMurray wildfire reaching Anzac

Cloutier said locals understand how the Fort McMurray victims are feeling.

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WATCH BELOW: Lac-Mégantic train disaster

“Today, we understand the emotions being lived by the population of Fort McMurray,” he said in a statement.

“All the signs of solidarity are a precious comfort and our prayers are with them.”

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The mayor also said Fort McMurray residents must show courage and determination during the ordeal.

READ MORE: Two years later: rebuilding after the Lac-Mégantic train derailment

Canadians donated $14 million to the Red Cross after the train derailment in Lac-Mégantic.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Thursday the federal government will match all donations to the Red Cross to assist people displaced by the wildfires.

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