We have all noticed the smoke in the air from the fires in Canada. The wildfires in Alberta have been nothing short of devastating. The 521,000 hectares (approximately 1,286,870 acres) that have burned so far this year make 2023 the seventh worst season on record. The wildfire season in Alberta runs annually from March 1 to Oct. 31.
Two hundred wildland firefighters from the United States went to Alberta to help battle wildfires, including firefighters from Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Washington, South Dakota, and Colorado. Roughly 1,500 wildland firefighters, heavy equipment and air tankers are working to fight the wildfires. More than 800 people from other agencies, including from Parks Canada, the Canadian military, and other provinces, are helping Alberta fight the wildfires that have forced nearly 30,000 people from their homes.
Lightning fires can smolder for days and ignite when the conditions are hot, dry, and windy. Cool and damp conditions gave firefighting crews a bit of a reprieve in some parts of the province, allowing them to bring multiple fires under control and lower the number of active fires.
Fires can move very quickly, and being prepared can make a huge difference. If you must evacuate from a fire, gather pets, medication, important documents and enough food and water for at least a few days. You should also make sure that your vehicle is fully fueled and ready to go.
People who want to support with donations or by volunteering can email EmergencySupportOffers@gov.ab.ca.