Edmonton

Wabasca wildfire under control, Alberta fire outlook remains grim

While the number of wildfires in the province is down from a few days ago, the province's emergency management agency is not letting its guard down.
A wildfire burns on the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range in northeastern Alberta earlier this week. (Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development)

The Wabasca forest fire is now under control.

On Tuesday the province allowed 5,000 residents to begin returning home to the northern Alberta communities of Wabasca and Bigstone Cree First Nation.

While the number of wildfires in the province is down from a few days ago, the province's emergency management agency is not letting its guard down.

"No rain," says spokesman Scott Long. "That is the biggest concern certainly for the foreseeable future. The conditions remain dry. There is the possibility of further lightning strikes in the coming days, so that is the biggest concern."

As of 7 a.m. Thursday there were 44 fires burning in the province with 11 deemed out of control.

Twenty were caused by lightning in the last 24 hours.

About 150 firefighters from B.C., Ontario, the Maritimes, and Parks Canada will arrive over next few days to help fight the wildfires which have burned more than 30,000 hectares in Alberta.

No community in the province is currently under threat.

Long said the air quality in Edmonton and northern regions of the province is expected to be affected by smoke for the next few days at least.

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