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Cooler weather has helped wildfire response but risk in northern Alberta 'very high': official


Cooler weather is helping firefighters battle wildfires in parts of the province, but the risk remains "very high" in northern Alberta, officials said Tuesday.

The number of wildfires dropped from 97 to 88 between Monday and Tuesday afternoon, according to data from the province.

As of 3 p.m., there were 24 out-of-control fires, 12 evacuation orders and more than 24,000 Albertans out of their communities.

A screenshot of the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard shows dozens of wildfires across the province on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

"We have made some progress on a number of fires," Alberta Wildfire information unit Manager Christie Tucker told reporters.

"Unfortunately, where we're still seeing quite a lot of yellow and red on the map, meaning that fire danger is high to very high, is in those areas in the north. They haven't had quite the relief that we've had with the cooler temperatures and the humidity down south."

A number of northern Alberta areas remain under evacuation order, including Big Lakes County, Fox Creek, County of Grande Prairie, Little Red River Cree Nation and Fox Lake, Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation and MD of Greenview, and Rainbow Lake.

Progress on wildfires means the province will increase its resources in areas facing dryer conditions, especially ahead of a hot weekend.

"We're preparing for higher temperatures coming this weekend," Tucker said.

"We're not expecting the kind of winds we saw last weekend, which was one of the things I mentioned before was responsible for the growth and the extreme behaviour that we saw in some of those fires, but certainly we're not taking it for granted. We're using all the tools at our disposal to plan ahead and ensure our resources are where they need to be."

Twenty firefighters from Yukon arrived in Alberta on Tuesday. Top Stories

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