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Rural Alberta Advantage’s ‘Beacon Hill’ inspired by Fort McMurray wildfire

The devastated neighbourhood of Beacon Hill is shown in Fort McMurray, Alta., on Friday, May 13, 2016. Jason Franson/The Canadian Press

A Canadian band with roots in Alberta is reaching out to Fort McMurray residents with a new song.

Rural Alberta Advantage released Beacon Hill on Tuesday, which was inspired by the devastating wildfire that swept through Fort McMurray in May.

Singer Nils Edenloff was born in Edmonton, but his family moved to the northern Alberta city when he was still in high school. He told News Talk 770’s Rob Breakenridge his mother and stepfather still live there.

READ MORE: Fort McMurray wildfire – from the ashes rise stories of the rebuild

He said their home was not impacted by the fire directly, but was damaged in one of two explosions later in May. The explosion happened at a home just blocks away.

“The idea that [your home] may not actually be something you can come back to is something you don’t anticipate as a kid.”

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Edenloff said the band didn’t initially set out to write about the fire.

“I guess it just felt like over the course of the month after the fire, it was just welling up inside.”

He said Rural Alberta Advantage has always been drawn to topics that are “deeply personal.”

Edenloff wouldn’t say if the song Beacon Hill would be on their next record, but said he expects it will be on the set list when the band performs in Calgary on March 1.

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