Officials advise Albertans to postpone May long weekend plans due to wildfires

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EDMONTON — Officials are advising Albertans to consider postponing their long weekend plans as nearly 100 wildfires continue to burn throughout the province.

Christie Tucker of Alberta Wildfire says the May long weekend is typically when they see a spike in human-caused wildfires, adding that last year 97 wildfires started over the weekend under less extreme wildfire danger levels.

There are 93 wildfires burning in Alberta, 26 of which are out of control.

Most of the province remains under a fire ban, as well as a ban of off-roading vehicles such as quads.

Colin Blair, with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, says an estimated 275 structures, including homes and businesses, have been destroyed by the wildfires.

Tucker says more than 830,000 hectares of land has burned, equal to about 10 times the size of the metro Calgary area.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 19, 2023.

The Canadian Press