Update 14: Alberta Wildfire situation – May 17, 2023

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Edmonton – WILDFIRE UPDATE – A special air quality statement has been issued, as smoky conditions persist throughout much of 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.
  • A fire ban and an off-highway vehicle restriction are in place across the Forest Protection Area.
  • The fire danger is very high to extreme in northern Alberta and high along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. Increasingly hot and dry conditions are expected later this week.
  • Current wildfire information is available on the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.
  • Air quality remains poor as wildfire smoke continues to drift into communities.
    • Learn more about the potential affects of wildfire smoke on your health.
    • Wildfire smoke can travel long distances. Visit firesmoke.ca to see where the smoke affecting your area is coming from.
  • Evacuation orders: 20
  • Alberta Emergency Alerts: 17 (12 orders, five alerts)
  • Number of evacuees: 11,990
  • Alberta has more than 2,500 personnel currently working on wildfires. This includes support from partner agencies across Canada and the United States as well as the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • An additional 21 personnel are arriving today from New Brunswick.

New information

  • The Alberta Supports Contact Centre in Whitecourt is experiencing a technical glitch with its phone line. Staff can pick up an Albertan’s call but cannot transfer or put that call on hold. While staff support callers’ inquiries, Service Alberta and Telus are currently working on correcting the issue.
  • Most Drayton Valley and Brazeau County residents have now been able to return home. Those returning should be mindful that extreme wildfire conditions persist in many areas.

Support for evacuees

  • Since the announcement of one-time emergency financial assistance for evacuees, more than 11,200 applications have been processed.
  • More than $16.4 million in e-transfers has been sent to evacuees.
  • More than $3.9 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.

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.

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