On Sunday, there were still over 100 wildfires raging throughout the province. The Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard lists 33 of the 109 flames as being “out of control” as of 11:15 a.m. More than 24,000 Albertans have been forced to leave their communities.
Following the recent evacuation of tens of thousands of residents due to raging wildfires, the province of Alberta has proclaimed a state of emergency.
“Under the Emergency Management Act the declaration gives the government greater powers to respond to extreme situations for example the province can access emergency funds, mobilize additional supports and continue to work with municipalities, organizations and businesses to support affected residents.
“This is not a step that we took lightly but it’s the one that allows for the quickest and most effective response,” said Premier Danielle Smith.
The province provided an update on Saturday night, noting that the following regions were still subject to Sunday’s obligatory evacuation orders:
- Parts of Brazeau County
- Parts of Northern Sunrise County
- Parts of Mackenzie County
- The entire Town of Rainbow Lake
- Fox Creek, Little Smoky and surrounding areas
- Parts of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and the Municipal District of Greenview
- Parts of the County of Grande Prairie
- Parts of Big Lakes County
- Parts of Lac Ste Anne County
- Parts of Yellowhead County, including the Town of Edson
- The communities of Whitefish River and Aitkameg
- Parkland County and the Hamlet of Entwistle
Local government entities and the Alberta Emergency Alert system are disseminating the most thorough and precise information regarding evacuation.
All evacuees are asked to register at a local registration centre; a list of centres is available online at alberta.ca/emergency.
As the government battles dozens of out-of-control wildfires that have forced more than 25,000 people to evacuate in central and northern Alberta, firefighters in Alberta are hoping colder weather would be helpful. The province is currently under a state of emergency. Through Monday night, there is a 60% probability of showers in the Edmonton area, but there is also a hidden threat of an evening thunderstorm, which has the potential to start further fires.
In a report published on Saturday, Alberta Wildfire noted 13 active wildfires in the province, including one that was out of control and engulfing approximately 78,000 hectares just 14 kilometres southeast of Edson. The Minnow Lake Provincial Recreation Area was entirely engulfed in flames, the agency claimed, adding that three helicopters, two dozer units, and air tanker support were all engaged in fighting the inferno.
Satellite images show a gloomy oversight of wildfire in Alberta:
It is not yet known what has caused all fires in Alberta, but many suspect a unusual dry weather to be the causing factor.