Over 2,700 Personnel Battle Wildfires, Assistance Programs in Place for Affected Residents
Edmonton – Wildfire Update – In the wake of ongoing wildfires, Alberta has declared a provincial state of emergency and citizens who have been evacuated are slowly returning to their homes. Residents are urged to consistently check in with local authorities and register at local reception centres or through the online portal emergencyregistration.alberta.ca.
Due to the escalating situation, fire bans and off-highway vehicle restrictions have been implemented across the Forest Protection Area. The fire danger remains moderate to very high in northern Alberta and low to high along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The recent showers in western and central Alberta have helped in mitigating smoke and reducing wildfire intensity in some areas. Weather patterns indicate the possibility of scattered showers and thunderstorms that could further aid firefighting efforts.
Current wildfire information can be accessed via the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard. Due to smoke from the wildfires, some communities are grappling with poor air quality. Updates on special air quality statements and advisories are available at airquality.alberta.ca.
At present, nine evacuation orders and 14 Alberta Emergency Alerts (6 orders, 8 advisories) are in effect, impacting 6,852 evacuees. Alberta currently has over 2,700 personnel, including support from Canada and the U.S. and the Canadian Armed Forces, working on the wildfires.
On the brighter side, evacuation orders for several areas including O’Chiese First Nation, the town of Swan Hills, town of Fox Creek, hamlet of Little Smoky, MD of Greenview, the Sturgeon Lake area and East Prairie Metis Settlement have been lifted. However, some returning communities remain under a four-hour evacuation alert.
In terms of support for evacuees, the Alberta government has processed more than 14,600 applications for one-time emergency financial assistance, amounting to more than $19.5 million in e-transfers and over $6.3 million in debit cards.
Albertans wishing to offer support can donate cash through the Canadian Red Cross or a recognized charitable organization of their choice. The Governments of Canada and Alberta have pledged to match each dollar donated, thereby tripling the funds available for those affected by the wildfires.