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Wildfire threat high to extreme in northern Alberta

May 11, 2012, Edmonton - As people in Slave Lake prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of wildfires that ravaged the town, the threat of new wildfires in the region is listed as extreme.


May 11, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Alberta fire officials say the forests north of Edmonton are bone-dry, trees and grass haven't greened up, humidity is low and winds are strong and gusty.

The combination of factors means the potential in the northern half of
the province for wildfires ranges from high, to very-high to extreme.

In and around the Lesser Slave Lake region there are 84 firefighters, 27 support staff, six heavy equipment groups, fourteen helicopters and two airtanker groups ready to jump on any new wildfires.

Geoffrey Driscoll, a wildfire information officer, says with no
lightning people are the main cause of wildfires at this time of year.

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There are 41 wildfires burning in the province, including one out of control blaze about 20 kilometres from the community of Fox Creek.