Government of Alberta Fire Department/The Canadian Press via AP
EDMONTON, Alta. — Fire crews battled wildfires threatening communities in western Canada on Sunday in hopes that cooler temperatures and the possibility of rain could bring temporary relief.
A province-wide state of emergency was declared Saturday in Alberta as more than 110 wildfires burned across the province, forcing more than 24,000 people from their homes.
Two out-of-control wildfires in neighboring British Columbia have also pushed some people from their homes, and officials have warned they expect high winds to push the fires larger in the coming days.
Provincial officials in Alberta said the weather forecast was favorable for the next few days, with traces of rain and cloudy conditions. But they warned that hot, dry conditions are expected to return within days.
“While some areas may have experienced precipitation, others may not. Wildfires in the region are extremely hot and will burn deep into the ground. These fires may reignite if conditions are right,” said a provincial update on Sunday. on the fires in Parkland and Yellowhead counties west of Edmonton.
In northeastern British Columbia, Peace River Regional District Chair Leonard Hiebert said in a statement that the two large fires in that area have been “aggressive” in their spread since they were discovered on Friday. He urged anyone living in an area covered by evacuation orders to leave immediately.
A third fire in British Columbia was out of control 700 kilometers (430 miles) to the south in the Teare Creek area, and some residents near the village of McBride were evacuated.