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Wildfire danger remains high in northern Alberta, hundreds displaced from Fort Chipewyan


As of Thursday afternoon, there were 61 wildfires in Alberta, including 15 out of control.

A wildfire near Fort Chipewyan, Alta., has been the province's priority since it started on Sunday.

Alberta Wildfire said additional resources are being directed to the 8,600 hectare fire, which is burning out of control around 10 kilometres from the community.

Close to 1,000 area residents had to flee the area by plane or boat.

"Things have been quite chaotic," Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Chief Allan Adam told CTV News Edmonton on Wednesday.

"We managed to get 800 people out of the community in the last two days."

The last plane left Fort Chipewyan at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Evacuees went to Fort McMurray and Fort McKay.

"The fire in the Fort Chipewyan area remains a high priority, but as you know, fires continue to burn across the northern part of the province," said Alberta Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Bre Hutchinson on Thursday.

Hutchinson said the fire danger remains extreme in the north, despite most of Alberta seeing rain over the past few days.

Around 4,400 Albertans are away from their homes due to wildfires.

More than 300 firefighters from the United States and South Africa are on their way to Canada to battle wildfires, the federal government announced on Thursday.

"This is truly an international effort," said Christie Tucker of Alberta Wildfire. "Now, many other provinces across Canada are starting to experience the extreme wildfire conditions we've been fighting in Alberta for the past month.

"We're grateful to all of those who have already come to assist us and to those who are still here in the province."

The 215 firefighters from South Africa will likely be stationed in Alberta.

With files from The Canadian Press and CTV News Edmonton's Diego Romero Top Stories

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