Alberta wildfires: Ottawa on standby to help as flames rage across province
The federal government is standing by to support Alberta as the province deals with close to 80 active wildfires, the office of the emergency preparedness minister says.
More than 10,000 people across Alberta are now affected in some way by mandatory evacuation orders; 79 wildfires were considered active as of Friday morning, the province said.
“We’re monitoring the reports of active wildfires in Alberta, and encourage Canadians in impacted areas to follow the guidance from their local officials,” said the office of the emergency preparedness minister, Bill Blair, in a statement to Global News.
“While we have not received a Request for Federal Assistance from the Government of Alberta, we stand ready to support them if federal aid or resources are required.”
Wildfire evacuation orders issued across Alberta
Late Thursday night, the entire town of Drayton Valley and rural properties in Brazeau County were told to evacuate because of a blaze there.
Parts of the county surrounding Athabasca, north of Edmonton, were also ordered to get out.
Earlier Thursday evening, the community of Entwistle in Parkland County was told to get out once again, just one day after people there were allowed to return after being ordered to leave their homes over the weekend due to fire.
In northeastern Alberta, a wildfire destroyed at least one home and triggered evacuations on the Cold Lake First Nation.
Alberta wildfire forces thousands to flee Fox Lake, destroys homes
Late in the afternoon, an evacuation order was issued for part of Lac Ste. Anne County, where officials said a wildfire was burning near Range Road 60 and Township Road 560. That was later downgraded to an evacuation alert.
In the far northwestern tip of Alberta, several thousand people were told to flee Fox Lake and the Little Red River Cree Nation because of a fire that flared out of control overnight.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, the province said at least 20 homes, the police station and the Northern Store have been lost in Fox Lake. A reception centre has opened at the Fox Lake Band Office.
Wildfire evacuation in northern Alberta forces thousands from their homes
Most of Alberta is under a fire ban after a period of windy and unseasonably hot conditions, with little chance of rain in the forecast.
The provincial government declares March 1 as the start of wildfire season.
— with files from Global News’ Karen Bartko
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