Wildfires continue to grow around Edmonton as province remains dry

High winds and unseasonably warm temperatures are fueling wildfires across the province, prompting evacuations in some areas. Laura Krause has more on how concerned fire officials are this wildfire season.

High winds, unseasonably warm temperatures, and tinder-dry conditions are continuing to fuel wildfires across Alberta threatening homes and communities in some areas of the province.

Two out-of-control wildfires west of Edmonton forced an evacuation of another community, after a sudden shift in the wind direction.

Entwhisle and Evansburg were evacuated over the weekend, many making their way to Wildwood. That community and the surrounding area has since been evacuated Monday.

Everyone impacted is asked to head to an evacuation centre in Edson or Wabamun.

As the fire continues to threaten communities, Deep Creek Camping and Events in Sangudo is also offering up its sites to any evacuees who need a safe place to stay.

“We’re here, we’re open and if anybody needs it they’re welcome to come,” said Corrie Shura, owner of Deep Creek Camping and Events. “We just like to give back to the community as much as we can, and with everybody in need we thought this would be the best way to support everybody and give them somewhere to go to get away and have a safe place to be.”

Wildfire map in Northern Alberta on May 1, 2023. (Photo Credit: Government of Alberta)

As of Monday afternoon, both fires combined totaling more than 2,600 hectares in size. Monday also marks seven years since a local state of emergency was declared for the Fort McMurray wildfire. Officials say the short-term forecast is sparking concern.

“The next two or three days, maybe longer, will be challenging days in terms of fighting wildfires because it is warm, dry, and not seeing any precipitation in the short-term future,” explained Derrick Forsythe, Wildfire Information Officer with Alberta Wildfire.

Parkland County says one home was destroyed in the out-of-control blaze west of the city on Sunday.

Wildfire in Northern Alberta May 1, 2023. (Photo Credit: Government of Alberta)

According to Alberta Wildfire, there are 39 active fires in the last 24 hours in Alberta.

Monday afternoon, Lac Ste. Anne County Fire Services responded to grass fire that spread to a camper and vehicle at a campground. One person was treated for shock-like symptoms.

In Edmonton, fire crews put out yet another brush fire along Wayne Gretzky Drive. The heavy smoke caused some vehicles to collide with fire trucks at the scene.

Alberta wildfire says the province is above the 5-year-average, with more than 250 fires in Alberta to date this year.

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