It has been two full years since “the fire”. People mention “the fire” almost casually around here, but 2,579 homes were destroyed and a large majority of those have not been built back. So much damage that you really have to see to beleive. I spent time in the United States when Hurricane Katrina went through New Orleans and Louisana and Mississippi. People could not beleive how big that storm was.
This fire was on the same scale. $3.7 billion in damage. Costliest disaster in Canadian history. , according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. And yet, luckily, there were no fatalities. When I first arrived here, I was not sure how to talk about it with people who were here and lived through it. Now it is just a memory, but a vivid one. The people here are amazing. Things are building back…slower than people would like, but they are making a lot of progress.