The government of Alberta declared a provincial state of emergency in response to wildfires burning throughout the province.
“I asked officials to prepare all options and recommendations for the government’s response, and after reviewing the province’s current situation and response options, we’ve declared a provincial state of emergency, to protect the safety, health and welfare of Albertans,” Premier Danielle Smith said. “This is not a step that we took lightly, but it’s one that will allow the quickest, and most effective response.”
By declaring a state of emergency, the provincial government has a higher level of intergovernmental coordination, access to emergency funds, and the ability to mobilize support to work with municipalities, organizations, and businesses to support evacuated residents, a government of Alberta press release said.
“Under the emergency management act, the declaration gives the government greater powers to respond to extreme situations,” Smith said.
The Emergency Management Cabinet Committee is meeting regularly to respond to the current wildfire situation across the province and has decision-making abilities to deal with the emergency situation.
The committee includes Alberta Public Safety and Emergency Services, Alberta Skilled Trades and Professions, Alberta Infrastructure, Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Alberta Municipal Affairs, Alberta Health, Alberta Forestry, Parks and Tourism, Alberta Seniors, Community and Social Services, Alberta Indigenous Relations, Alberta Transportation and Economic Corridors, Alberta Agriculture and Irrigation and Alberta Energy.
“Emergency responders are working around the clock to keep people safe and reduce the threat to homes and infrastructure,” the release said.
Department officials are expected to provide daily technical briefings as the wildfire situation continues to evolve.
The most up-to-date evacuation information is available at Alberta Emergency Alert or by downloading the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile app, which immediately pushes all alerts out to subscribers.
Albertans seeking information or support can call 310-4455.
Anyone who has been evacuated due to wildfires is asked to register at local reception centres or online.