05/04/2016 10:54 EDT | Updated 05/04/2016 12:17 EDT

Fort McMurray Fire: Trudeau Offers Full Federal Assistance To Alberta

The prime minister says he has spoken with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal government will provide all possible assistance to Alberta as wildfires ravage Fort McMurray.

Canada is a country of people who help each other in challenging times, Trudeau told his caucus Wednesday.

"I've been dealing with offers of support and calls from the Atlantic provinces, all the way out to B.C., as people are looking for how they can support their friends and neighbours as people go through this difficult time."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley following meetings at a Liberal Party cabinet retreat in Kananaskis, Alta., Sunday, April 24, 2016. (Photo: Jeff McIntosh/CP)

Trudeau urged people with friends or family in Fort McMurray to make sure they are OK and ask what help they need. Donations to the Canadian Red Cross are also welcome, he added.

The prime minister said he has already spoken to Alberta Premier Rachel Notley to offer his government's "total support."

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, in a conference call from Germany early Wednesday, confirmed a formal request for assistance has been received from the Alberta government.

What form that will take — at least on the military side — is still being determined and National Defence is expecting to hear soon from the province about the kind of equipment and personnel required.

The office of Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, the federal focal point for assistance, is expected to provide more details later today.


Photo gallery Fort McMurray Wildfire (May 2016) See Gallery