Ottawa: Wildfire smoke from the blazes in Canada’s western province of Alberta now blankets most of the country, a local media report said.
As more than 80 wildfires continue to burn throughout Alberta on Thursday, with 23 of them classified as out of control, and nearly 18,000 people remain forced from their homes, smoke from the blazes has now covered most of the country, CTV News reported.
Air quality statements remain in effect for much of Alberta with Environment and Climate Change Canada also warning of poor visibility as a result of wildfire smoke, Xinhua news agency reported.
“People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke,” the national weather agency said.
Alberta’s provincial government declared a state of emergency on Saturday, and several provinces are assisting the wildfire fight by sending equipment and firefighters to Alberta, which has already faced more than 420 wildfires so far this year, CTV News reported.
The Alberta government confirmed on Thursday that the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has deployed troops as the province battles “unprecedented wildfires”.
“The capabilities the CAF can bring to support Alberta are firefighting support to aid in mop-up operations and basic firefighting duties,” a government spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Airlift resources for increased mobility and logistical responsibilities, such as evacuating isolated communities, will also be provided, and engineering support will be provided where required, the spokesperson said.