Firefighters make progress on Alberta wildfires as more evacuees return home

Red Cross Appeal: Alberta Wildfires 2023

About 7,000 people remain under evacuation orders — 3,000 less than the previous day. Evacuees from the O’Chiese First Nation, Swan Hills, Fox Creek and Little Smoky are being allowed to return home.

Some are still under evacuation alert, meaning they must be ready to leave quickly.

More than one million hectares in Alberta have burned so far. Eleven wildfires of note, ranging in size from around 10,000 to 200,000 hectares, are still in play. Nine of those fires are out of control.

Officials say this year’s wildfire season is now the second-worst wildfire season on record. The previous record was set in 1981, when 1.3 million hectares burned.

By this time last year, only 450 hectares had burned.

Rainfall warnings that covered western Alberta have now been rescinded. A special air quality statement caused by smoke remains in effect for only a portion of northern Alberta.

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