High temperatures and dry conditions continue across Alberta as a massive wildfire continues to burn out of control.
A Monday evening update from the Government of Alberta says that the out-of-control Chuckegg Creek Wildfire has now grown to more than 127,000 hectares.
To put that into perspective, the entire city of Edmonton is only 684 square kilometres — or 68,400 hectares — meaning that the fire is nearly twice as large as the province’s capital.
The province issued heavy smoke warnings when the fire had burned through 105,000 hectares just a day prior.
According to a release from the province, communities in the north of the province may experience heavy smoke from the fires in the next 24 hours.
The province currently has 400 wildland firefighters, 194 structural fighters and staff on the ground, supported by 28 helicopters, eight air tankers and 46 pieces of heavy equipment.
A voluntary evacuation is also in place for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement and areas north of High Level.
As of noon on May 27, the province says evacuation centres have registered approximately 4,470 people.
Those who have been evacuated may qualify for a $1,250 one-time financial support from the province if they meet the following criteria:
The payment is per adult, and an additional $500 will be given for each dependent child.
According to the update, about 3,400 evacuees have applied online for evacuee support, and more than $3.4 million in support has been distributed.