The two out-of-control wildfires raging in northeastern British Columbia, which have already forced some residents from their homes, are expected to worsen in the coming days.
The Peace River Regional District says in a statement that strong winds are expected to “contribute to the continued growth” of the Boundary Lake and Red Creek wildfires, located about 1,300 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, over the next few months. 24 to 48 hours.
District Board Chairman Leonard Hiebert said in a statement that the wildfires have been “aggressive” in their spread since they were discovered on Friday, and the safety risk is significant enough that all residents areas with evacuation orders must leave immediately.
The area of the regional district, which covers both Boundary Lake and Red Creek, declared a local state of emergency to enable it to respond more quickly to wildfires.
The Boundary Lake fire covers 1,900 hectares near Goodlow, British Columbia, while the Red Creek fire covers 1,550 hectares approximately 20 kilometers northwest of Fort St John, British Columbia.
A third out-of-control fire 700 kilometers to the south at Teare Creek also continues to burn. Some residents near the village of McBride had to be evacuated from the area.
Cooler temperatures and some rain should bring some relief to firefighters as they continue to battle wildfires threatening communities in northern Alberta. Provincial officials warn, however, that the reprieve is not expected to last long, and that lightning will ignite new fires.
Electric transmission company AltaLink posted on Twitter Saturday evening that “incredible firefighter work” slowed the growth of fires that were threatening utility lines powering areas west of Edson, including Hinton, Robb and Jasper, and that the cooler weather should also help.
Edson has already been evacuated, and many of its residents are now in Hinton and Jasper. The town of Jasper had warned on Saturday that the community could lose power.
The province said in a wildfire update Sunday that forecasts were favorable for the next few days, with small amounts of rain and cloudy conditions in some of the affected areas.
But the update warned that not all areas will receive rain, and that the long-range forecast calls for a return to hot, dry conditions within days.
A province-wide state of emergency was declared on Saturday as more than 110 wildfires burned across Alberta, forcing nearly 24,000 people from their homes.
“While some areas may have received rainfall, others may not. Wildfires in the region are extremely hot and will burn deep into the ground. These fires may reignite if the conditions are right,” said a provincial update on Sunday about the Deep Creek area fires, which have threatened communities in Parkland and Yellowhead counties, west of Edmonton. .
“Weather forecasts can help with fire-line fire suppression efforts, but crews will need to be prepared for a rise in temperatures early next week and the increase in fire intensity that this will bring.” ”, ruled the same update.
Alberta Emergency Management Agency and Alberta Wildfire officials are due to provide an update on the wildfire situation later Sunday afternoon.
Earlier on Sunday, Premier Danielle Smith met with Opposition Leader Rachel Notley, a meeting Smith said was aimed at keeping the leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) informed about the wildfire situation and the emergency state.
Alberta is in the midst of an election campaign, with a vote scheduled for May 29. Some candidates in areas affected by the fires have announced they are suspending campaign activities.
“At times like these, Albertans expect all of their elected leaders to work together to help our people,” Ms. Smith tweeted after the meeting.