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Don’t return to Slave Lake yet, officials warn

May 17, 2011, Slave Lake, Alta. – Alberta officials are urging people not to try to return to the northern community of Slave Lake until it's safe.

May 17, 2011
By The Canadian Press

May 17, 2011, Slave Lake, Alta. – Alberta officials are urging people not to try to return to the northern community of Slave Lake until it's safe.

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency can't say when officials will be able to let seven-thousand evacuees know if their homes are still standing, or if they were destroyed by a wildfire.

But executive director Colin Lloyd says the town is moving from the exhausting effort of trying to save homes and buildings to a recovery phase.

Lloyd says it needs time to determine which areas are still livable and reconnect services such as power, natural gas, water and phone lines.

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Firefighters say they've been able to hold their ground on two fires near the town, and cooler weather is in the forecast for the days ahead.