CALGARY- Alberta declared a state of emergency Saturday due to the growing threat of wildfires that have forced more than 24,000 people from their homes. Premier Danielle Smith said the safety of Albertans is a priority, and the emergency status gives the government greater power to access emergency funds and mobilize additional support. “This is not a step that we took lightly,” Smith told a news conference following a meeting of her emergency management cabinet committee. “But it’s one that will allow the quickest and most effective response.” More than a dozen communities and rural areas have been evacuated in recent days. Officials said there were 110 wildfires burning in the province, with about three dozen considered out of control, as of late Saturday afternoon. Some buildings have been destroyed,
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