Wildfire_Burnout-21-Winter

Alberta Wildfires

Note: this page does not provide real-time updates on wildfires in Alberta. If you need current information, visit the Alberta government’s wildfire dashboard

The Alberta wildfire season started early this year, with the government declaring the start to the fire season on Feb. 20.

The province, already parched from last year’s dry weather, also faced a winter with too little precipitation to fill reservoirs. 

That means the potential for widespread impacts on everything from towns and cities to agriculture to oil and gas.

It also heightens the risk of widespread wildfires

2024 Alberta wildfires and the state of firefighting capacity

The 2024 Alberta wildfire season forced evacuations of residents in the northern parts of the province in April and May, from Peace River to Fort McMurray, the latter of which experienced a devastating fire in 2016. 

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We’re covering energy on the Prairies

Wildfire teams have been gutted since the United Conservative Party took power in 2019. This year, the government announced more funding to deal with potential emergencies, along with plans to hire an additional 100 wildfire fighters. It has also set aside extra money in the budget to deal with the ravages of the climate crisis, including fires (though the budget does not identify climate change by name). 

Even as long-awaited moisture arrives in some regions of the province, the choking smoke of 2023 could still prove a hint of what’s to come and more communities could be impacted across a dry province.

If Canada wants to be an international biodiversity leader, it has to start at home

Rodrigo Estrada Patiño is program director at Greenpeace Canada. Stephen Hazell is president of Ecovision Law and was executive director of both Sierra Club Canada...

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