Dozens displaced from their homes in NW Alta. as wildfires continue to burn
More than 100 people have been displaced from their homes in northwestern Alberta as a number of wildfires burn out of control near High Level.
A mandatory evacuation remains in effect for the hamlet of Zama City Wednesday. About 130 people have left that community while dozens of others who live around the area are also being evacuated.
Currently five wildfires are burning out of control in the High Level area. At least 1,500 hectares have burned.
"Yesterday afternoon there was actually a weather shift and it caused a wildfire burning northwest of Zama City to shift towards it, and it came within 10 kilometres of the city," Wildfire Information Officer Heather Hawkins said.
An evacuation centre has been set up in the Town of High Level and evacuees are being put up in hotels. There are some residents setting up accommodations at a local school.
Officials have closed Highway 35 several times this week already. As of Wednesday morning, it remained opened, but because the fire is burning very close to the road it could close again at any time.
County officials say evacuees are getting the support they need. Food vouchers have been made available and there are enough places for people to stay.
But with temperatures hovering around 34 degrees in the area Wednesday, conditions remain dry. It could be some time before evacuees are allowed to return to their homes.
Air quality warnings have also been issued in the area.
With files from Sean Amato