Alberta wildfire officials are hoping mother nature will work with firefighters as they continue to battle over two dozen out-of-control wildfires across Alberta. As of 3 p.m. Sunday, 108 active wildfires were reported on the provincial dashboard, with 30 of them listed as out of control.
Executive Director of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency Colin Blair says approximately 30,000 people have been evacuated from regions across central and northwestern Alberta, and while many are curious as to what they will be returning home to, a full assessment is still very much a work in progress.
“I want to stress that many of you want to know the extent of damage, at this time, reports are still coming in,” he said during a media availability Sunday.
“In some cases, ongoing smoke and fire conditions prevent us from fully assessing property loss, and until we can do that we are limited in the details we can provide. We know structures have been lost, but our priority is protecting lives and dealing with the emergency response first and foremost.”
However, some good news came in the form of rain in the northwestern part of the province on Sunday, with regions like Fox Creek, approximately 2 and a half hours from Edmonton, receiving scattered amounts of precipitation for much of the morning and afternoon.
“It did have an impact on fire behaviour today in that area. It allowed firefighters to work on the areas of some wildfires they haven’t been able to get close to because of extreme wildfire behaviour,” says Christie Tucker with Alberta Wildfire.
“We are expecting this trend to continue over the next couple of days with cooler temperatures and higher humidity helping firefighters who are working in the south and central parts of the province,” Tucker adds.