Alberta declares state of emergency due to fires, more than 24,000 out of homes

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CALGARY — Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says the province has declared a state of emergency due to the threat of wildfires.

Smith says the safety of Albertans is a priority.

She says the state of emergency gives the government greater power to access emergency funds and mobilize additional support.

Several communities and rural areas have been evacuated in recent days and the number of evacuees has grown to more than 24,000.

Officials say there are currently 392 wildfires burning in the province and 36 are considered out of control.

Some buildings have been destroyed, including 20 homes, a police station and a store in Fox Lake in northern Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2023.

The Canadian Press