MBI Members Provide Support for Fort McMurray Victims


In times of disaster a strong bond can be formed in communities that are affected. The devastation created by the Fort McMurray wildfires in Alberta, Canada has tested the resiliency of its residents and forged a bond for Canadians as a whole. Low humidity, high temperatures and wind fueled the wildfires and swept across nearly 400,000 acres of land, forcing the evacuation of almost 90,000 residents and destroyed almost 2,500 structures. All of North America, and much of world watched on while a small town was changed forever.

Modular construction historically has a large presence in Fort McMurray with many MBI members being involved in the construction of workforce housing in the area. Understanding the level of devastation for Fort McMurray, many of our members reached out to support and lend what they could for the relief efforts. Officials estimate that it will likely require $9 billion (Canadian dollars) to rebuild all that was lost from the wildfires.

William Scotsman, who has office locations in Fort McMurray, acted quickly and shipped a number of temporary solutions to those affected including wash facilities, dorms, kitchens, modular offices, guard shacks and storage containers. They focused on items the city would need to replace for people to rest and feel safe with that remained after the fire. 

“The industry response to the relief effort has been incredible to say the least - like many others, we have had employees at Williams Scotsman personally impacted by the fires,” said Tom Bruyea, Vice President/GM – William Scotsman Canada/Alaska.

Additional MBI members providing support include Black Diamond Group who created a dedicated webpage to provide updates for the latest Fort McMurray news. They worked closely with government official to provide immediate and long-term accommodations for those in need. ATCO Structures and Logistics is also worked closely with their customers and local Fort McMurray organizations to ensure a steady support system was in place for first responders. The company is building a 1,000-person camp from nearly 300 modular units that were stored at a nearby airport.

Residents are not currently returning to their homes due to safety concerns on air quality. The wildfire still rages on outside of Fort McMurray. With such a large number of displaced residents, the Red Cross is steadily in need of support and funds. The Modular Building Institute has created a donation page for those seeking to participate. Visit www.redcross.ca/ModularBldg and give today!

About MBI

Changing the Way the World Builds: Greener, Faster, Smarter. The Modular Building Institute is the international nonprofit trade association that has served the modular construction industry for more than 30 years. Members are suppliers, manufacturers and contractors involved in all aspects of modular projects -- from complex multistory solutions to temporary accommodations. As the voice of commercial modular construction, MBI expands the use of off-site construction through innovative construction practices, outreach, education to the construction community and customers, and recognition of high-quality modular designs and facilities. For more information on modular construction, visit www.modular.org.