The number of uncontrolled blazes in Alberta rose from 20 on Tuesday to 16 on Wednesday.
Since Tuesday, Alberta has recorded only one new fire, while the number of active blazes rose from 71 the day before to 57 on Wednesday, according to Alberta Wildfire. The number of uncontrolled fires also fell, from 20 to 16.
Firefighters are making significant progress on the ground, said Alberta Wildfire Information Unit Manager Christie Tucker. “They are taking advantage of cooler and wetter conditions [as well as] the stability of the fires to make progress.
Just over 1 million hectares of forest have been burned since the start of the year in Alberta, about 12 times the size of Calgary.
There are currently 21 local states of emergency, and 6,852 evacuees still cannot return home.
According to Bre Hutchinson, chief executive of the Management Agency from the Alberta emergency room, members of the O'Chiese First Nation community and residents of Swan Hills, Fox Creek and Little Smokey were already able to return home.
The evacuation order has also been lifted for Greenview and Lac Sturgeon as well as for the Métis community of East Prairie.
Bre Hutchinson also said it is essential for these residents to remember that they will continue to be on an evacuation alert. In other words, they are advised to have their suitcase ready for any eventuality.
People returning home should remember that even if their status has changed, they there are still active wildfires, Christie Tucker said.
“Burnt tree roots and ash pits can present hidden dangers. People should always follow the guidelines of local authorities when returning to their community.
—Christie Tucker, Alberta Wildfire
Along the same lines, Josée St-Onge, information officer for Alberta Wildfire, explained the areas ravaged by the fires remain very dangerous. We can find very weakened trees there. Their roots have burned, so they can fall very easily.
In addition, eight reception centers remain open in the affected regions. However, the visitor center in Edmonton closed on Tuesday and the one in Calgary will cease operations on Wednesday afternoon, as clarified by Bre Hutchinson.
“[Thursday] 25 firefighters from New Zealand will arrive, followed by nearly 200 firefighters from Australia this weekend.
— Christie Tucker, Alberta Wildfire
The province also welcomed a major reinforcement on Wednesday: an 11,000 liter water bomber sent from California to lend a hand. strong. Christie Tucker had announced the day before the arrival of 96 additional American firefighters.