The Alberta government has confirmed many people’s worst fears, that the dry and windy conditions that are fueling the northern wildfires aren’t going to die down any time soon, and will make extinguishing them difficult, telling the public to prepare themselves.
“This fight is going to be a tough one,” said Devin Dreeshen, Alberta’s minister of agriculture and forestry. “The weather is not co-operating for the long-distance forecast for the next two weeks. It’s more of the same. Albertans need to prepare themselves for this situation for the foreseeable future.”
The northern wildfires have forced around 10,000 people from their homes, nearly double the number that was reported at the start of the week.
Around 5,000 people were forced to leave their homes in the town of High Level in northwestern Alberta. This week, more people from that region have left, as well as those from near a seperate wildfire by Manning about 250 kilometres to the south.
Some smaller communities, including Wabasca, the Bigstone Cree Nation and Chipewyan Lake Village, have been given evacuation orders on Wednesday as two out-of-control fires – Maria Lake and MacMillan Complex – merge together.