The wildfires that have decimated Fort McMurray have made headlines worldwide but once the fires, and the headlines, are extinguished the massive task of rebuilding the devastated community will begin.

That, says the chief executive of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s Alberta branch, will take a coordinated effort from builders, insurers, government and property owners.

Jim Rivait told the Edmonton Journal: “If this is a free-for-all, it will be a further disaster.” He highlighted the aftermath of the Slave Lake fires in 2011 where he says there “didn’t seem to be a whole lot of interest in coordination.”

While Mr Rivait says there have been lessons learned from Slave Lake, the scale of the work needed to rebuild an estimated 15 per cent of Fort McMurray will be challenging. It could be a few months, he says, before rebuilding can begin due to assessment and insurance claims.

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