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Fort McMurray evacuees look for normalcy on Mother's Day, despite fire

While planning their Mother's Day celebrations, evacuees who fled the wildfire ravaging Fort McMurray, Alta., are looking for normalcy.

Carol Christian's home was in Abasand, one of the first neighbourhoods in Fort McMurray to be placed under mandatory evacuation. She said her home has been lost.

She travelled to an evacuation centre on MacDonald Island, and then to Edmonton.

Now, she's in Ontario with her mother. Her son is in Toronto, and they're planning on meeting up on Sunday.

"I think that's what the day will be all about: just being together," Christian said. "We need a little time for normalcy and family, away from the disaster."

Candace Fabian is another displaced mother. She initially opened up her home in Fort MacKay, about 70 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, to friends and family. At one point on Tuesday, she was host to 20 people.

But when Fort MacKay was put under voluntary evacuation, she took her two sons to Sherwood Park, Alta., about 500 kilometres south of her home.

"Mother's Day will be a little different this year," she said. "But it's okay — we'll make do."

Her family is trying to keep the day as normal as possible, she said. They'll be going out for dinner and spending time together, like they usually do.

But for those who have been forced out of their homes by the fire, there won't be true normalcy for quite some time.

Federal Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said Saturday that the fire remained "unpredictable and dangerous."

Fire officials have predicted that the fire will double in size over the course of the weekend, and will likely burn for weeks.

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