timberland work boots steel toe Alberta calls for help as wildfires burn near Tallcree
The Tallcree First Nation Tribal Government declared a state of local emergency for the community of North Tallcree on Friday as a 1,500 hectare wildfire burned just five kilometres west of the community. All residents have been evacuated to High Level.
Scott Long, executive director of Provincial Operations for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said there are eight fires in complex, all classed as out of control. The wildfire is believed to have been caused by lightning.
“Bulldozers have been used to put up extensive safeguards along with other measures,” said Long, noting portions of Highway 88 have also been closed near the community of South Tallcree, where 400 people remain under an evacuation notice.
“The community is well aware and prepared.”
Long said the hot, dry weather combined with winds over 50 km/h are challenging firefighters on the ground as Alberta grapples with one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent memory. There are currently 129 wildfires in the province with 51 listed as out of control, 20 listed as held, and 57 listed as under control. There have been 1,260 wildfires since April 1.