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Calgary to open Alberta wildfire evacuee centre

The City was asked by the province to give assistance to Albertans taking refuge from the wildfires.

Calgary will open up an evacuee centre in the coming days, to help provide refuge for those Albertans fleeing the wildfires.

The news comes as the province said more than 29,000 people have been evacuated from communities in north and north-central Alberta.

On Saturday afternoon, the province declared a state of emergency as more than 100 fires were burning in Alberta.  In Sunday’s update, they said there were 109 active fires in Alberta, with 29 recorded as out of control.

There are 18 declared states of local emergency in areas of north and central Alberta.

“I’d like to acknowledge the impact this emergency is having on the lives of many thousands of Albertans,” said Colin Blair, spokesperson for the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

“This is a time for all Albertans to offer compassion to our neighbours who may be in the path of the wildfires.”

Ward 11 Coun. Kourtney Penner, chair of the City of Calgary’s Emergency Management Committee, said they’ve been asked by the province to open up an evacuee intake centre.

“At this time, we’re just determining the best location for that and making sure that all the necessary staffing and other resources would be ready in order to welcome evacuees,” Penner said.

According to City of Calgary Twitter, they will likely be opening the centre tomorrow. More information is expected at that time.

Yesterday, the City said that nine members of the Canada Task Force 2 were deployed to help the incident management team with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

Penner said they weren’t sure at this time if they would be acting as overflow or certain evacuees would be sent to Calgary for aid.

“Twenty-five thousand evacuees – that’s a significant amount of people,” she said.

“For one city, for Edmonton to take that on themselves, it’s a really big task.”

Penner also indicated that the city has been asked for some fire support and they’re assessing that request at this time.

Those seeking emergency and evacuee information can visit the province’s website.