The Government of Alberta has declared a provincial state of emergency due to the wildfires in the province this evening.
“After reviewing the province’s current situation and our response options, we declared a provincial state of emergency to protect the safety health and welfare of Albertans. Under the Emergency Management Act the declaration gives the government greater powers to respond to extreme situations,” said Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.
The Emergency Management Act is a legal mechanism gives the provincial government a higher level of coordination, around the clock monitoring, access to emergency funds, and as well as other supports.
“There is currently 392 wildfires burning in the forest protection area of Alberta and 36 of those are out of control. Updating from this morning more than 365,000 hectares have now burned since January 1st in Alberta,” explained Christie Tucker, Information Unit Manager Alberta Wildfire.
“We were battling very strong winds and hot weather and those winds produced extreme wildfire activity which saw many of the wildfires on the landscape grow or move quickly today,” she added.
With cooler weather in the forecast and even some rain in some areas she is looking forward to some reprieve and rest for firefighters.
“With respect to today’s update, the situation continues to be very serious. Many communities remain affected by the fire with more than over 24,000 Albertans evacuated from their homes,” said Stephen Lacroix Managing Director of Alberta’s Emergency Management Agency.
At this time evacuees in the province are encouraged to register at local reception centres.
For more information you can head to the following link Alberta.ca/emergency. Albertans who require assistance are asked to call 310 or 4554 for wildfire related information. To stay up to date with emergency alerts in your area, it is recommended you download the Alberta Emergency Alerts App.
Department officials will be providing daily technical briefings to the media and public as the situation evolves.