State of emergency declared due to forest fires in Canada’s Alberta province

Alberta Provincial Prime Minister Danielle Smith announced at a press conference that they declared a state of emergency in the province, stating that wildfires that broke out of control forced more people to leave their homes.

“An unprecedented crisis”

Prime Minister Smith described the wildfire in Alberta as an “unprecedented crisis”.

“I want to reassure everyone that our state has the right tools, the right technology, the right resources to meet this challenge, and that they will get the support they need,” Smith said.

Danielle Smith said that nearly 122 thousand hectares of forests have been burned so far and the federal government is ready to help if necessary.

Noting that the number of active forest fires in the north and center of Alberta has increased to 110, Smith stated that approximately 25,000 people have had to leave their homes and that 5,200 people have been evacuated so far.

Explaining that hot and dry weather conditions cause forest fires to spread rapidly, Fire Response Center Spokesperson Christie Tucker said in the media briefing, “We are in a time of high danger. We are at significantly higher numbers this year than we have seen in the last five years in terms of the size of the burned area.”

Tucker explained that around 300 firefighters responded to the fires, along with teams from surrounding cities and other states, while those who were evacuated were housed in gyms, fairgrounds and community centers.

The evacuees are provided with free temporary housing, food services, clothing, health care and their animals are cared for.

Meanwhile, the Alberta State Department of Health has temporarily closed the Edson Health Center due to its proximity to fire areas. 90 patients who remained in the center were transferred to other hospitals.

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