Smoke from fires, like this one in Greenview County, helped firefighters over the long weekend.
After more than two weeks of devastating fires in Alberta, the weather has finally put itself on the side of the firefighters, even if the authorities are still far from declaring victory.
According to Christie Tucker of the Alberta Wildfire Information Unit, rain fell on most blazes in the province, with the exception of far northern Alberta. Cooler morning temperatures and smoke helped the efforts of the approximately 2,900 firefighters deployed.
I think we were all relieved to see the rain, she said said during the daily press conference on Monday.
The weather forecast also makes her optimistic as the province is expected to receive more precipitation and cooler temperatures over the next few days.
“We could be at a turning point in the fight against the fires.
— Christie Tucker, Alberta Wildfire
Hopefully the vegetation will absorb this moisture and be more resilient for the next few weeks.
As of Monday afternoon, the Alberta Wildfire map showed 85 active fires in the province, including 23 that are not under control.
More than 10,800 people are always evacuated.
The welcome center located at the Expo Center in Edmonton will close Tuesday afternoon as residents of Drayton Valley and Brazeau County were allowed to return home. According to the City of Edmonton, approximately 3,100 people have checked into the center since May 5.
Christie Tucker, however, recalled that the fight against the fires will continue for a long time. Many of these fires will not go out with a few days of rain. They will require sustained action for a good while with firefighters in the field to extinguish hot spots.
Firefighters thus fear the passage of storm cells, whose lightning could trigger new braziers.
In Alberta, we are still hoping for a calm. The weather is starting to be long for the firefighters and the thousands of evacuees, it's been more than 2 weeks that forest fires have been raging. Our journalist Elisa P. Serret went to one of the municipalities where the inhabitants were evacuated and which looks more like a ghost town besieged by flames. Authorities are now preparing for the worst.
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Besides the help of the rain, the fire crews also got the help of the smoke. By covering the sky, it had the cooling effect of clouds.
However, it limits the movement capacity of aircraft fighting fires, harming the health of all those who breathe it and make farmers in the province fear the worst.
In a series of special air quality bulletins, Environment Canada indicates that the degradation of air quality by smoke poses a high or very high health risk in several regions of the province:
Edmonton, St Albert, Strathcona County, Fort Saskatchewan, Sturgeon County, Lamont County and Parkland County;
- < p class="e-p">Drayton Valley;
Airdrie and Calgary;
Wood Buffalo – south, Fort McMurray and Fort McKay;
Smoke is a moderate risk in the Hinton, Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie areas, and considered a low risk in the around Lethbridge. Environment Canada expects most parts of the province to move to moderate risk on Tuesday.
With information from La Presse canadienne