forest fires A heat wave alarms Albertans

forest fires | A heat wave alarms Albertans

Heat and wind are likely to exacerbate the dozens of wildfires that still plague Alberta. And that when there is dissatisfaction among the thousands of evacuees.

Posted at 7:13pm, updated at 8:19pm.


Environment Canada warned that mercury temperatures would hit 30C as early as Saturday in northern Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan, and the temperature is expected to remain above 14C overnight.

That’s 10 to 15°C more than usual for the time of year. According to forecasts by the federal authority, the sun and heat in the north of the province should last at least until Friday.

As early as Saturday, the authorities in a region observed an intensification of the fires, the Portal agency said.

Their numbers increased throughout the day. According to Wildfire Alberta, 86 wildfires were still active in the province as of late afternoon. And 25 of them were out of control.

Smoke from wildfires affects visibility and air quality, the federal agency warns.

The province counts about 16,500 evacuees. In total, nearly 30,000 people have fled their homes at some point since the fires began, according to Portal. In this province in the west of the country, the state of emergency that was declared on May 6th is still in force.

The grumbling increases

Some evacuees are starting to get impatient, multiple media outlets reported on Saturday. Some want to return home to protect their homes. Others want to care for abandoned farm animals.

In Grande Prairie County, about 450 kilometers northwest of Edmonton, a man operating a bulldozer “endangered his safety and that of his employees by throwing trees into the fire and nearly driving into firefighters and their equipment,” officials said in a statement press release on Saturday.

The population must “be aware that firefighting decisions are highly coordinated and that citizens cannot take matters into their own hands, even if they have good intentions,” they warned.

Alberta’s government warned Saturday that it is “illegal and dangerous” to fly drones over disaster areas.

In the middle of the election campaign, Alberta’s Prime Minister Danielle Smith has to reassure the population. On Saturday morning, she announced at a press conference that she had agreed to build a firewall around the city of Grande Prairie.

About 200 American firefighters were due to arrive in the province on Saturday to reinforce the approximately 300 Canadian Armed Forces members already planned. According to Radio Canada, 200 of them were on the ground.

With the Canadian Press