Update 1: Alberta supports B.C. wildfire response
The Government of Alberta is providing support as British Columbia deals with wildfires. It is also encouraging Albertans to stay safe by being aware of air-quality advisories. And it is advising people to make financial donations to a recognized non-profit organization of their choice instead of providing material donations.
- Air quality is expected to vary across the Central, Edmonton and North Zones of Alberta Health Services.
- Alberta Health Services has issued precautionary air-quality advisories for the following areas:
- Jasper, Hinton and Edson areas of the North Zone
- All of Edmonton Zone and Central Zone
- Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.
- Residents of, and visitors to, these areas are advised to be aware of air conditions and to take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air.
- Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website: http://airquality.alberta.ca. For hourly air quality readings and daily forecasts, download the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) Canada app at https://open.alberta.ca/interact/aqhi-canada
- For more information on the air-quality advisory, please visit http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx
How Albertans can help
- We recognize Albertans are caring and generous and want to do whatever they can to support British Columbians who have had to leave their homes due to wildfires, including donating material goods.
- We know from experience that B.C.’s priority is assessing evacuees’ immediate needs and there is no request from B.C. for donations of material goods from Albertans. We ask that Albertans wait until our neighbouring province provides direction and further information about material donations.
- Consider helping by making a financial donation to a recognized non-profit organization of your choice. You may also access direct links to charities such as the Canadian Red Cross or Salvation Army through the B.C. government website at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/donate-to-the-british-columbia-fires-appeal
- At this time, all highways into B.C. from Alberta are open to travel, but this could change as the wildfire situation progresses.
- For up-to-date travel information across Alberta, please check 511 Alberta and “know before you go.”
- Albertans planning to travel to British Columbia are advised to monitor @DriveBC and @EmergencyInfoBC for up-to-date information on road closures and traffic impacts.
- Information for travellers and tourists visiting B.C. is available at http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/wildfire-status/info-for-travelers-tourists-in-bc
Contacting family in B.C.
- If you have been separated from your family in British Columbia, please contact the Red Cross at 1-800-863-6582 (select language and then option 1).
- Agriculture and Forestry has deployed 125 firefighters and support staff, five air tankers, two birddog planes and 3,000 lengths of hose to British Columbia.
- Alberta is responding to a request for help from British Columbia RCMP by sending 40 Alberta members from the Special Tactical Operations unit. More information: https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=48259FD713886-DFA4-7661-C7CC0C0E7DEF7DEF
- The Alberta Emergency Management Agency has elevated the Provincial Operations Centre to Level 2 to enhance monitoring of the B.C. wildfire and, at the request of Emergency Management British Columbia, has deployed four emergency management and communications professionals to provide assistance.
- Albertans are encouraged not to travel to British Columbia on their own to provide wildfire response. All response efforts are being coordinated through Emergency Management British Columbia.
Fire restrictions in Alberta
- After a prolonged period of hot, dry weather, a fire restriction has been put in place in the forested parts of Alberta south of Highway 532.
- Campfires within campgrounds in designated fire rings in this area are still permitted. Gas or propane stoves/barbecues and portable propane fire pits are also allowed.
- The best way for Albertans to find out if there is a fire ban, restriction or advisory in their area is to visit AlbertaFireBans.ca.