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Fire danger continues to be ‘extreme’ in most parts of province: Alberta government

Hot and windy conditions expected to return after a brief reprieve

The Alberta government says fire danger continues to be extreme in most of the province except the Rockies, where lower danger levels were expected.

Some areas have experienced cooler temperatures and some rain, but the government says a return to hot and windy conditions is expected in the coming days.

Indigenous Services Canada said Tuesday that nine First Nations were under threat by active wildfires.

One of them was Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, about 360 kilometres northwest of Edmonton, where 1,600 people were forced to leave after fire destroyed 45 structures and power infrastructure.

As of early Wednesday morning, Alberta’s wildfire status dashboard was reporting 81 active wildfires in the province, including 27 listed as out of control.

Firefighters from Yukon, British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec have arrived in Alberta to help, and the government said late Tuesday that crews were also expected from New Brunswick, Oregon and Alaska.

Officials say they are preparing for hotter weather this coming weekend in central Alberta, posing a risk for more active wildfires after a brief reprieve.

“The fire danger remains high in many northern areas of the province, which means that we can still see active wildfire behaviour there,” Christie Tucker, with Alberta Wildfire, told reporters Tuesday.

“But in much of the southern and central parts of the province, firefighters have been helped by cooler temperatures and humidity.”

Tucker said the mild conditions make it easier for crews to access fires and bring in heavy equipment to help create fire breaks around communities.

READ MORE: Alberta officials say cooler weather and showers help in battle against wildfires

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