Video obtained by Global News shows thick smoke still lingering in parts of Fort McMurray, and the ruin as drivers pass through portions of neighbourhoods that have been levelled.
Watch below: A look at the devastation inside Fort McMurray
Fort McMurray wildfire: a look at the devastation inside the community Thursday morning
Fort McMurray wildfire: a look at the devastation inside the community Thursday morning – May 5, 2016
While there is devastation, Alberta Wildrose Leader Brian Jean is feeling more optimistic after touring part of the community Friday. Jean, who has called Fort McMurray home for 50 years and lost his house in the fire, said he felt much more positive about the rebuild.
“We’re not out of the situation yet and we could still see some trouble depending on how the winds blow, but truthfully… today looks to be a little bit better of a day and we are looking, frankly, very optimistic considering where we could be today. Two days ago we thought it was going to be much worse.”
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He said about 80 to 85 per cent of homes are in perfect shape, as is the major infrastructure, including city hall and the hospital.
“That’s very good news because that’s the type of infrastructure that’s most difficult and takes the longest to rebuild.”
Watch below: Aerial footage shows the devastation in Fort McMurray’s Abasand and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods
Fort McMurray wildfire: Aerial footage of the destruction in Abasand and Beacon Hill
Fort McMurray wildfire: Aerial footage of the destruction in Abasand and Beacon Hill – May 7, 2016
Jean said some of the communities on the south side of the community are badly damaged, including Beacon Hills and his neighbourhood, Waterways.
“It wasn’t pleasant to come home and come to my front driveway and see that my truck was melted into the pavement, nor that my house was about a foot tall. But you know what did make me happy was the fact that nobody was hurt,” he said.
Watch below: Incredible footage takes us inside the fight against the Fort McMurray wildfire
Incredible footage takes us inside the fight against the Fort McMurray wildfire
Incredible footage takes us inside the fight against the Fort McMurray wildfire – May 6, 2016
By early Friday afternoon, about 1,200 to 1,400 vehicles had already made their way through Fort McMurray.
For the past few days about 25,000 evacuees have stayed at work camps north of Fort McMurray. They weren’t set up like other evacuation centres, but those who stayed in the camps said they were extremely appreciative of the accommodations and the hard work done to keep them safe.