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Wildfire situation improving, Alberta no longer in state of emergency


Alberta is no longer under a provincial state of emergency.

The Emergency Management Act was invoked on May 6 to help mobilize firefighting and evacuee resources as 110 wildfires burned in the province.

So far in the 2023 Alberta wildfire season, there have been 563 wildfires.

"We've surpassed a million hectares burned, a milestone we've never hit by this point," Christie Tucker of Alberta Wildfire said Saturday. "The most area burned for an entire wildfire season was 1.3 million hectares in 1981.

"It's been more than 40 years since we've had a season like this one."

With the help of cooler weather and rain, crews had made significant progress by Saturday and 504 of the season's fires were out.

"In other words, we have extinguished 90 per cent of all fires started this year," Tucker added.

Officials said the state of emergency, which expired at midnight Sunday, will not be renewed at this time, as its anticipated conditions will continue to improve.

On Sunday, 59 wildfires were burning and 17 were out of control.

Tucker said the 14,474-hectare Rocky River fire burning out of control north of Fort Chipewyan is the top priority.

Residents of the area remained under a mandatory evacuation order on Sunday, including Mikisew Cree First Nation, Fort Chipewyan Métis Nation and Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.

Officials said support and resources for communities affected by wildfire will remain in place and will not be affected by the expiry of the provincial state of emergency.

"There will be no change to the level of support, resourcing and coordination that we are providing," Cyndee Evans, Alberta Emergency Management Agency executive director, said Saturday.

The wildfire information line at 310-4455 is open 24-hours a day and eligible evacuees can continue to apply for the one-time emergency financial relief payment. Top Stories

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