Alberta Premier, Danielle Smith has announced supports for Albertans who have been evacuated due to wildfire.
“Starting tomorrow, the government will begin providing one-time emergency financial assistance for residents who have been forced to evacuate due to these wildfires. Every adult who has been evacuated and displaced for seven consecutive days will receive $1,250 along with an additional $500 for dependent child under age 18,” said Smith.
You can apply for the payments online and Smith says the payments will arrive by e-transfer in as little as 24 hours. If you cannot apply online, you can also apply by calling 310-4455.
The Premier says she has sent a formal request for additional assistance with the wildfires after speaking with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“During our call, the Prime Minister confirmed that the military will be sent to assist if necessary. We will continue to keep communication channels open with the federal government as we continue to respond to this unprecedented situation,” she explained.
Smith also gave an update on Alberta’s Healthcare system as four Alberta health Services sites have been evacuated including Drayton Valley Hospital and Care Centre, Edson Healthcare Centre, Fox Creek Healthcare Centre and High Prairie Health Complex.
“Healthcare workers across the province are working around the clock to ensure patients and residents are well cared for in temporary locations...And I want to be clear despite these evacuations, our healthcare system is still well equipped to continue to meet the needs of Albertans from all corners of the province,” said Smith.
Schools in affected communities have also been closed as a result of the wildfire evacuations and Public Safety Emergency Services Minister Mike Ellis says contingency plans are being made for the students affected.
A look at the conditions today
There are currently 98 active wildfires in the province 27 of which are considered out of control. There are 15 evacuation orders in place in Alberta and the province remains in a state of emergency.
“The total area burned for the province this year has now passed 390,000 hectares but today we have seen a continuation of yesterday’s break in the hot weather across most of the province with light scattered showers and light winds too. This is giving firefighters a helping hand causing less active wildfire allowing them to work on parts of the fires they hadn’t been able to access before,” said Christie Tucker, Information Unit Manager Alberta Wildfire.
However, she says weather is expected to warm up again by the weekend where challenging conditions could continue and a change wind direction.
The evacuation order for some areas of the Yellow Head County have lifted but according to Colin Blair, Spokesperson for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency re-entry will be a process.
“There is a process for re-entry and it is crucial that evacuees follow the direction of the local authority. When each local authority’s incident commander has determined that a community is safe, then efforts will shift to planning for re-entry,” added Blair.
Tucker added that it is important for all Albertans to do their part in preventing fires in their area by obeying local fire restrictions.