(Calgary) Alberta’s premier says an emergency management cabinet committee is scheduled to meet on Saturday afternoon as the number of people evacuated by wildfires in the province rose to more than 24 000.

Danielle Smith told a press conference in Calgary that the committee could discuss implementing a province-wide state of emergency.

Smith says there have been 45 new wildfires in Alberta since Friday morning, bringing the number of active fires to 103, with about 121,000 hectares burning.

According to her, the situation is unprecedented and the hot and dry conditions – which means only one spark is needed to start a fire – are “really scary”.

Smith said Alberta Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis has spoken with federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair and that Ottawa stands ready to offer assistance if the province the request.

Some buildings were destroyed, including 20 homes, a police station and a store in Fox Lake, northern Alberta.