Update 11: Alberta wildfire situation May 14, 2023

949

EDMONTON – WILDFIRE UPDATE – Wildfire danger in Alberta will remain elevated in the coming days with continued hot and dry conditions across the province.

Those evacuated due to wildfires should register at local reception centres or at emergencyregistration.alberta.ca.

Current situation

  • Alberta has declared a provincial state of emergency. Visit alberta.ca/emergency for information or call 310-4455, now available 24-7.
  • Fire danger is growing from very high to extreme in many northern areas of the province. A wildfire can still start easily and spread quickly in these conditions.
  • There are 89 active wildfires in the Forest Protection Area.
    • 25 are classified as out of control
    • 17 are being held and are not expected to grow beyond projected boundaries given current weather conditions and resources
    • 44 are under control
  • Evacuation orders: 14
  • Evacuation alerts: 8
  • Number of evacuees: 19,342
  • Alberta currently has more than 1,500 wildland firefighters, 151 helicopters, 25 fixed-wing aircraft, and heavy equipment responding to wildfires in the province.
  • A fire ban and an off-highway vehicle restriction are in place across the Forest Protection Area.

New information

  • The province is working with local authorities in the County of Grande Prairie and the City of Grande Prairie to construct a fireguard around the city of Grande Prairie.
  • Additionally, the province along with local authorities with the Municipal District of Greenview are working to establish a fireguard around Little Smoky and along Highway 43.
  • Fireguards are barriers that are created by removing trees and other vegetation – essentially getting rid of the fuel for the fire.
  • Firefighters have been working hard preparing for more challenging conditions, building breaks around communities and making use of fresh firefighters coming in from outside the province.
  • More than 800 wildland firefighters have come from British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, the Yukon, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Oregon, Alaska, Washington, Montana and Parks Canada. This includes 200 wildland firefighters who recently arrived from the United States and are being deployed.
  • Canadian Armed Forces assist by providing personnel, resources, and basic firefighting roles; airlift resources for mobility and logistical tasks, including the evacuation of isolated communities; and engineering support, including heavy equipment resources, as capacity allows.
  • An additional 100 soldiers will be deployed in the coming days.

Support for evacuees

  • Since the announcement of one-time emergency financial assistance for evacuees, more than 8,400 applications have been processed.
  • More than $13.2 million in e-transfers has been sent to evacuees.
  • More than $2.2 million in debit cards has been distributed.
  • Debit cards are available for evacuees unable to receive an e-transfer at 16 Alberta Supports Centre locations with extended hours, and at Edmonton and Calgary evacuation centres.

Crime prevention

  • Alberta RCMP are using the RAVE Alert system to send tips about how Albertans can protect their properties in advance of being evacuated and updates on what the RCMP are doing in specific areas to deter and catch criminals who might take advantage of this provincial emergency.
  • Alberta RCMP are patrolling and monitoring evacuated communities, using a variety of tools and resources to minimize crime in affected areas. The RAVE Alert mass notification system will keep Albertans updated and informed of these activities.
  • People in areas affected by wildfires are encouraged to opt in to this free, voluntary system.
  • Individuals can sign up to get text, voicemail or email updates for areas of the province they choose at getrave.ca.

Donations

  • Albertans who wish to help can make cash donations through the Canadian Red Cross or within their regions to a recognized charitable organization of their choice.
  • The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta will each match every dollar donated to the Canadian Red Cross 2023 Alberta Fires Appeal. This means that every $1 donated will become $3 to support those affected by the wildfires.
  • Individuals and companies with goods or services to offer or donate to support the government’s response to the wildfire can email EmergencySupportOffers@gov.ab.ca.

For more information on the emergency and supports for evacuees, go to alberta.ca/emergency.