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A lot of painful memories have been flowing through Slave Lake.
One year ago Tuesday, a good portion of the town burned to the ground.
Mouhamed Mouallem says his hometown is doing its best to adjust to "a new reality," as the past slowly fades away.
"Now it's mostly been cleared out,” remarked Mouallem. “But even up until a couple of months ago you still see the remains, and the burnt out cars, and the burnt out homes, and the cages up along the damaged buildings.”
And as new homes and neighbourhoods rise from the ashes, Mouallem says it's helping to create new bonds across Slave Lake.
"There has never really been an issue in regards to having the community come together when needed to help each other and overcome the circumstances."
Looking back, Mouallem describes the aftermath of the wildfires as "surreal."
Adding they were caught somewhat flat-footed by the circumstances, but never again.
"It happened once. I think now the residents will each kind of take more responsibility for themselves to make sure they're prepared, and they're safe, and that their families have an Exit Plan, and a Plan B, and a Plan C as needed." (td)