May 23, 2023 – Albertans Urged to Remain Vigilant; Support Flows for Evacuees, Firefighting Efforts Continue

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Edmonton – Wildfire Update – Alberta residents are urged to stay vigilant as the province grapples with extreme wildfire conditions. An appeal has been made to those evacuated due to the wildfires to register at local reception centres or at emergencyregistration.alberta.ca.

The province has declared a state of emergency, with a 24-7 helpline available at 310-4455. Information can also be found at alberta.ca/emergency. A fire ban and an off-highway vehicle restriction is currently enforced across the Forest Protection Area.

Tuesday witnessed the continuation of showers that started on Monday, reducing fire behaviour due to the cooling effect. Weather patterns are expected to bring further precipitation to the west and central regions of the province. Up-to-date wildfire information can be accessed via the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

Several communities continue to experience poor air quality due to the wildfires. Albertans are advised to keep abreast of special air quality statements and advisories by visiting airquality.alberta.ca.

At present, 15 evacuation orders are in place, with 13 Alberta Emergency Alerts (eight orders, five alerts). The number of evacuees stands at 10,655. More than 2,700 personnel, including support from partner agencies across Canada, the US, and the Canadian Armed Forces, are combating the wildfires.

In positive news, the City of Edmonton closed the Drayton Valley and Brazeau County evacuee reception centre at EXPO Centre on May 23, following the deescalation of the wildfire situation in those areas. The City of Calgary will close its evacuee reception centre on May 24.

The response to the one-time emergency financial assistance for evacuees has been substantial, with over 14,200 applications processed, resulting in over $19 million in e-transfers and more than $6.3 million in debit cards distributed.

Albertans wishing to contribute to the ongoing efforts can make cash donations through the Canadian Red Cross or to a recognized charitable organization of their choice within their regions. Both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have pledged to match every dollar donated, tripling the impact of each contribution to support those affected by the wildfires.

Individuals and companies with goods or services to donate in support of the government’s response to the wildfire can email EmergencySupportOffers@gov.ab.ca.

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