Wildfires continue in Alberta as premier, prime minister discuss aid plan
The Canadian PressNews wildfire
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says she has received an assurance of support from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for the province’s battle against wildfires.
Smith says she and Trudeau spoke by phone, and Alberta has sent a letter to the federal government that outlines a request for assistance.
Trudeau says the federal government will work with the Red Cross to set up a matching fund to help Albertans affected by the fires.
He says the federal government will be offering support but did not divulge specifics.
About 29,000 people have been ordered to leave their homes in several communities in recent days as more than 100 fires remain active.
On the Little Red River Cree Nation in northern Alberta, more than 40 structures, mostly homes, have been lost.
Darryel Sowan, the emergency management communications co-ordinator, says some 3,700 people left the area quickly after the evacuation order was put in place last week.
There is no road into the community, so people had to use boats, while higher-risk people were flown out.
“Because it’s isolated, a lot of those people have never even been away from the reserve,” Sowan said Monday.
“We want to get them back there and they want to go home. We are trying our best.”
Chief Conroy Sewepagaham posted on social media Monday that officials are planning to do a full assessment of the community.
They will use aerial images to try to see which homes have been damaged or destroyed, he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 8, 2023.
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