Published On: May 13, 2016

On May 1, 2016 a wildfire started in the southwest regions of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Within 2 days, the fire spread into residential areas and nearby communities resulting in major evacuations amongst residents whose homes and businesses were destroyed (2016 Fort McMurray Wildfire). MONEXgroup recognizes the devastating effects of this tragedy and endeavours to assist our fellow Canadians in need. We are eager to do our part to help the people of Fort McMurray through this very difficult period and support them in rebuilding their community.

MONEXgroup’s Relief Policies for Merchants Affected by the Fort McMurray Wildfire

In light of the events in Fort McMurray, MONEXgroup is immediately enacting measures to assist our valued merchant partners who are impacted. The following policies have been implemented:

  1. We are waiving the monthly recurring fees until the business reopens. Until that time, there will be no collection of:
  1. Monthly administrative fees
  2. Visa/MC minimum fees
  3. Terminal rental fees
  1. Once the Fort McMurray community reopens, we’re offering the following additional support:
  1. Free replacement of irreparably damaged terminals
  2. Waiving of closure fees in the event that the business does not reopen

We appreciate the hardships that our merchant partners from Fort McMurray are facing, and we look forward to serving them again as soon as they’re ready.

MONEXgroup’s Charitable Drive to Support Victims of the Fort McMurray Wildfire

As of Monday May 9, the Canadian Red Cross has collected more than $54 million from Canadian. With the federal government’s promise to match dollar-to-dollar program, it is no wonder that people are opening their wallets generously. As a patriotic and true Canadian company, MONEXgroup also wants to help residents who lost their most treasured valuables during this devastating and traumatic experience. For the duration of May 2016, MONEXgroup has implemented two charitable fundraising initiatives to help victims:

  1. For new prospective merchant partners, the submission of an inquiry form on our website in May will be met with a $10 donation to the Red Cross
  2. For existing clients who contact us to inquire about upgrading or expanding their current systems in May, $25 will be donated to the Red Cross

Wildfire 101

The Fort McMurray wildfire has caused many to wonder-how did this happen? Before we can discuss more about the Fort McMurray wildfire, we need to delve into the basics of wildfire, so Canadians can prepare for and avoid it in the future (How to Prepare for a Wildfire) .

What: A wildfire is classified an unplanned fire that occurs in a natural area in forests and grasslands.

When: A wildfire can occur at any time of the year, but risk is increased when the area has little to no rainfall, which makes trees and grass drier and easier to burn. Furthermore, high winds can also contribute to spreading of the fire.

Where: Wildfires can occur just about anywhere, but they typically start in a remote area. The cause of a wildfire ranges from lightning to human errors such as disposing of lit cigarettes or unextinguished campfires.

Fort McMurray Wildfire Facts

The tragedy of Fort McMurray wildfire has resulted in expensive damages and losses in regions such as Beacon Hill, Waterways and Abasand. The following are 10 facts surrounding this tragedy:

  1. Fort McMurray is located 435 kilometers northeast of Edmonton with a population of 125,000
  2. Fort McMurray wildfire started on May 1 st at 9:57 PM near the Gregoire region burning at approx.1,300 hectares which doubled in size at 2,600 hectares by May 2 nd to Centennial Trailer Park and Prairie Creek regions
  3. Fort McMurray is an important hub for the energy sector in Alberta as it contains many oil sands
  4. The Fort McMurray wildfire occupied at least 10,000 hectares as of Thursday, May 5 th and will continue to spread
  5. The Fort McMurray wildfire resulted in the biggest evacuations in Alberta to date
  6. High levels of particulate matter (composed of liquid droplets) are distributed to control the Fort McMurray wildfire
  7. Fire season usually occurs from April to September (depending on regions)
  8. Two babies were born in evacuation camps
  9. More than 1,100 firefighters are involved in extinguishing the Fort McMurray wildfire
  10. Approximately 88,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes

What are some ways YOU can protect yourself and families?

The following are suggestions that Canadians can consider when it comes to personal and property protections:

Personal Protection: With the onset of a wildfire, the best thing you can do is to evacuate yourself and your family from the affected area. Be sure to drive safely by turning on your headlights to increase visibility on the roads and other vehicles.

Property Protection: Reduce flammable materials in your home and/or business areas that can burn easily.

Risk Management: Review your insurance to ensure you have coverage for your properties and personal belongings in case of any unfortunate events happening.

The Five Ps of Evacuation

In the event of an emergency evacuation, there are essentially five Ps that one should follow for packing and preparing:

  1. People always comes first
  2. Pets
  3. Prescriptive medications
  4. Papers such as passports, birth certificates…etc
  5. Personal Belongings such as clothes, money, toiletries…etc

How Can You Help the Evacuees from Fort McMurray Wildfire and Other Volunteer Activities?

If you’re looking to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfire there are numerous ways to lend your hands to the victims. Canadians can donate money, volunteer, donate items and clothes, offer accommodation to victims in Fort McMurray and provide shelters for lost pets.


  1. Donate to Red Cross by clicking Alberta Fires Appeal , or you can text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5 dollars or FIRES to 45678 to donate $10.
  2. Donate to the Salvation Army by clicking Alberta Fire Response.
  3. Donate to Save the Children here: Fort McMurray Emergency Wildfire.


  1. If you want to offer accommodation for evacuees, you may use the following Facebook groups: Fort McMurray Evacuee Open Source Help Page , Fort McMurray Evac Relocation Help Group to offer a place for them to stay
  2. The popular lodging and hosting website Airbnb has waived all service fees for those affected by the fire, so evacuees can find over 140 places on here


  1. If you are looking to donate items such as blankets or clothes, this Facebook group was created for this purpose
  2. Edmonton’s Food Bank is also collecting donations where food can be dropped off at any major grocery store or fire hall.


  1. Edmonton Emergency Relief Services is looking for volunteers (who must be 16 or older). If interested please click: Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society
  2. If you want to volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross, you can sign up here.


  1. Several humane societies in the province are taking donations for the purpose of relocating pets and finding new shelters for them: Fundraiser in Support of Fort McMurray.

Although the Fort McMurray wildfire is still burning, many new firefighters have joined to help and they are being assisted with favourable cool weather with brisk winds in the area. Therefore 10 fires are under control out of the 19 fires that are burning as of May 11. So stay strong Albertans, we wish you all the best!

When partnering with merchant processor solutions, you should look to MONEXgroup – the number one payment processor in Canada; MONEXgroup will increase your efficiency and quality of service and lower the related costs. Request a Cost Comparison Analysis today.

Author: Lindsey Lu, Marketing Communication Specialist, MONEXgroup
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