Alberta Premier Danielle Smith declared a state of emergency Saturday as the province continues to grapple with a dire wildfire situation.
As of 6 p.m. on Sunday, there were 109 active wildfires in the Forest Protection Area, and 28 were out of control.
There are 18 states of emergency in effect across the province, and over 24,000 people have been evacuated. Another 52,000 remain under an evacuation alert.
In declaring a state of emergency, the province can access emergency discretionary funds and mobilize additional support for impacted Albertans, according to Smith.
"Under the Emergency Management Act, the declaration gives the government greater powers to respond to extreme situations," she said, adding they did not take this step lightly, but lauded it as the "quickest" and "most effective" response to counter the wildfires.
On Saturday, Smith said the province has $1.5 billion in contingency for emergency management. "We'll spend whatever it takes [to get affected residents the support they need]."
"The safety of Albertans remains the number one priority as officials direct resources to incidents that have direct threats to human life," she added.
In the announcement, Alberta's emergency coordination centre moved the state of emergency to level four, allowing for a more comprehensive response to extraordinary events and mandatory coordination by the UCP.
"I met briefly [Sunday] morning with Danielle Smith and offered my insights and experience from the 2016 Fort McMurray fire," said Alberta NDP leader Rachel Notley in a statement.
"We want to assure folks that, regardless of the election, the government [will] work hard to have their backs in this difficult time."
On Sunday, Notley and Smith met with Albertans impacted by wildfires at the Edmonton EXPO Centre to demonstrate solidarity across the partisan divide during the provincial state of emergency.
"Albertans are at our very best when we come together. The outpouring of support during the wildfires the past few days is incredible but hardly surprising. Taking care of each other is what we do," added Notley.
Officials confirmed Saturday evening that the Emergency Management Cabinet Committee meets regularly to assess the situation and make decisions as needed, where needed.
Alberta RCMP, including the Sheriff's branch of Alberta, conservation officers, and Fish and Wildlife officers, have deployed hundreds of officers from across the province to assist with evacuations and support the government in controlling wildfires.
Alberta Health Services added that they successfully evacuated patients from Drayton Valley, Fox Creek and Edson hospitals.
A province-wide fire ban and off-highway vehicle restriction remain in Alberta's forest protection area. Many municipalities and Alberta Parks have also issued fire bans to prevent accidental wildfires.
Further information about the wildfires of note, evacuation alerts, and orders can be found on the Alberta Government website or the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.
Additional resources can be found through the Wildfire Resource Line, 310-4455, a common call centre where people can find updates on evacuation services.