Wildfire state of emergency in north western Canada May 2023: 30 000 evacuated in province of Alberta
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Wildfire season has started early in the northern parts of the North American continent. The Canadian province of Alberta is dealing with out-of-control wildfires.
Updated May 8
The Alberta provincial government has declared a provincial state of emergency as out-of-control wildfires force more residents from their homes, according to an article on CBC.ca.
Premier Danielle Smith made the announcement at a media briefing Saturday afternoon. She described the current wildfire situation in Alberta as an "unprecedented crisis."
Nearly 30,000 residents in Alberta have been forced to evacuate from their homes as wildfires continue to rage in north and central Alberta. About 5000 have been evacuated on Sunday or Monday, May 8.
More than 100 wildfires continue to burn in Alberta and thousands of residents are still displaced. As thousands of evacuees flee their homes, truck drivers on the road are also stuck, cut off between closed roads and highways.
Several highways west of Edmonton are closed because of the fires, including a part of the very important Highway 16. Multiple fires in the area are making it difficult to get around the closures on other roads, which are also affected.
In Northern British Columbia, firefighting teams are sent across the border to Alberta to help out the situation there, despite having several wildfires of their own to deal with in the province.
As of Sunday afternoon, four fires that are particularly visible or pose a danger to the public, are burning, in the Prince George area in northern B.C.
Two of those — the Boundary Lake fire and Red Creek fire — are burning out of control near Fort St. John, and evacuation orders remain in place for the community of Goodlow and Red Creek.
An evacuation alert was also issued Saturday for the entire Doig River First Nation community in the Peace Country Region.
In the neighbouring prairie province of Saskatchewan, wildfires were continuing to prompt evacuations from First Nation communities as late as Saturday May 6th, according to the CBC.ca.
The Saulteaux First Nation, located about 43 kilometres north of North Battleford, began evacuating areas close to a wildfire on Thursday night.
On Thursday, North Battleford's Fire Chief Lindsay Holm advised against driving into the community, as the Battleford Agency Tribal Chiefs (BATC) are working to evacuate the community and traffic is hindering efforts to fight the fire and move people to safety.
The BATC posted on Facebook that the wildfire on Saulteaux First Nation was contained at 4 a.m. CST on Friday and no homes were lost.
Photo Credit: A wildfire about one kilometre north from the Saulteux First Nation's community hall. (Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs/ Facebook)