By Joanne Benger
Canadian street paper Alberta Street News presents a personal account of evacuation during the spread of wildfires earlier this year – just one example of how extreme weather is forcibly displacing people.
Light snowfall over winter combined with a lack of rain in spring created tinder dry conditions, resulting in wildfires across Alberta. By the end of May, there were 140 fires burning. Nearly 4,000 people were evacuated as their homes were threatened by the advancing fires.
Smoke from the Alberta fires spread across Canada and into the US. A state of emergency was issued 6 May. Although there are still fires burning, rain finally brought the wildfires under control and the state of emergency was dropped on 3 June.
My first ever evacuation was a good experience because everyone went above and beyond the expected. I was totally unprepared when a policeman came to the door on Saturday 29 April to say that Entwistle was being evacuated because there were wildfires on both sides of us. It seemed surreal because the air was clear without even a trace of smoke.
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