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Alberta declares state emergency due to wildfires

The 110 wildfires burning across Alberta represent an ‘unprecedented crisis’, Premier says

Alberta has declared a state of emergency as thousands have been evacuated from their homes due to raging wildfires across the province.

Nearly 25,000 Albertans have been evacuated from their homes as the province faces what Premier Danielle Smith has called an "unprecedented crisis."

On Saturday. May 6, Alberta went into a state of emergency as fires have now burned 350,000 hectares of land since Jan. 1. During the noon press conference with Alberta's Premier Danielle Smith, there were 122,000 hectares of land burned, with 110 fires burning in Alberta. 

"It has been an extremely challenging day for firefighters. We were battling very strong winds and hot weather and those winds produced extreme wildfire activity," said Christie Tucker, information unit manager with Alberta Wildfire. 

"We are looking forward to a brief reprieve possibly in the next few days," Tucker said of the cooler weather slated to roll into the province. 

A state of emergency allows the provincial government to use a higher level of intergovernmental coordination, around-the-clock monitoring of the situation, access to emergency discretionary funds, the ability to mobilize additional support and continue working with municipalities, organizations and businesses to support evacuated residents, read a press release from the province. 

Residents are asked to call 310-4455 for wildfire-related information.