September 2, 2016 3:00 pm
Updated: September 2, 2016 8:20 pm

Fort McMurray wildfire: Residents can now rebuild in Abasand and Beacon Hill

WATCH ABOVE: With each day that winter edges closer, Fort McMurray residents who lost their homes to the wildfire lose valuable construction time. A condition imposed on rebuilding permits was preventing them from getting started until now. Sarah Kraus explains.

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Nearly four months after a wildfire ripped through Fort McMurray, residents in two of the hardest hit neighbourhoods have been given the green light to rebuild.

After the wildfire, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo put a temporary restriction in place for all development permits in Abasand, Beacon Hill and Waterways. As of Thursday, the temporary restriction was lifted in Abasand and Beacon Hill.

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READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Beacon Hill, Abasand residents begin returning home

Residents who obtain the proper permits will be able to rebuild immediately.

“It’s humongous,” Sandra Legacy, who lives in the Abasand neighbourhood said. Legacy lost her home in the wildfire and can’t wait to rebuild.

“It’s not only the foundation. We are at the very beginning of September. Foundation, floors, walls, the exterior structure of a home – a duplex even – two weeks and it’s up. So it could be framed completely, doors and windows in, before the snow flies. That is fantastic news.”

Sandra Legacy lost her home in the Fort McMurray wildfire. She can’t wait to rebuild her home in the Abasand neighbourhood.

Global News

The permits will allow for the immediate pouring of foundations or placement of pilings. The rest of the rebuild can begin after council officially removes the restriction on Sept. 20.

“This is an important step forward for our residents who have been patiently waiting to begin rebuilding in Abasand and Beacon Hill,” councillor Sheldon Germain, of the Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee, said.

“I’m proud of this collaborative effort that allows residents to get started as soon as possible. Every day and week matters and I commend everyone involved for finding a way to start the process sooner than expected.”

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire: Longer-term temporary housing coming for displaced residents

The temporary restriction on development permits remains in place for Waterways. The RMWB said additional consideration needs to be given to flood mitigation in the area.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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