What you need to know about wildfires burning across Canada

"We are getting international help," says Melanie Morin of Quebec's forest fire prevention agency, SOPFEU, as Quebec is making progress battling the wildfires. On Monday, some evacuees were able to return home. Alyssia Rubertucci reports.

By The Canadian Press

Quebecers are returning home as the province goes on the offensive against a record wildfire season, but gusty winds and hot temperatures are fuelling fires in the West.

Here’s a look at developments Monday.

Worst wildfire season of the 21st century: Blair

Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says 431 wildfires are burning across Canada, and more than 200 are out of control.

More than 47,000 square kilometres have burned so far this year.

Blair says it marks Canada’s worst wildfire season of the 21st century.

About 5,000 firefighting personnel are deployed, and hundreds more from Chile, Costa Rica, Spain and Portugal are to arrive in the coming days.

Visas extended for people affected by wildfires

Federal Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says some work and student visas will get extensions if people have been affected by wildfires.

Fraser says Ottawa wants to make sure these disasters don’t displace people who are on a specific kind of work or study permit.

Ottawa also plans to replace — for free — passports, permanent residency cards, citizenship documents and other travel documents that may have been destroyed by flames.

Wildfire continues to threaten town west of Edmonton

A wildfire that forced the evacuation of a town west of Edmonton continues to threaten the community, with crews also battling heavy smoke.

Edson Mayor Kevin Zahara says the fire remains within 1.5 kilometres of his town’s southern edge.

Officials say conditions mean the risk of the fire moving in different directions over the next two days is extreme.

The 8,400 residents were forced to flee Friday after flames jumped fireguards.

It’s the second time Edson residents have been forced away due to wildfires in just over a month.

About 14,000 residents are out of their homes due to fires throughout northern and western areas of Alberta.

Many Quebec fire evacuees heading home

Thousands of Quebecers who were forced from their homes by out-of-control wildfires are starting to return home as the situation improves.

Premier François Legault says there should be fewer than 4,000 evacuees remaining by the end of the day, down from a peak of more than 13,500 Friday.

Legault says there are now more than 1,200 people fighting fires across the province, including reinforcements from New Brunswick and France.

Quebec has been having a record wildfire season with 449 fires to date, including 130 currently burning.

Winds fan northeast B.C. wildfire

Gusty winds kicked up a huge wildfire in northeastern British Columbia, forcing an evacuation order for hundreds more properties in remote areas north of Fort St. John.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says more than 140 people are working to contain the lightning-caused Donnie Creek blaze and the 4,660-square-kilometre fire is now the second largest ever recorded in the province.

But the service says winds responsible for the weekend trouble between Fort St. John and Fort Nelson aided firefighters on a separate blaze to the south, which prompted Thursday’s evacuation of the entire northeastern community of Tumbler Ridge.

More than 80 wildfires are burning around B.C., including a stubborn fire in steep terrain above Highway 4 on Vancouver Island, forcing the continued closure of the main route to Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.

A convoy of supply trucks carried gas, food and other items into the region Sunday over the rough, four-hour detour that has provided essential access to the Island’s west coast since the human-caused wildfire began.

Number of active wildfires increases in northern Ontario

The number of active wildfires in northern Ontario continues to grow.

There are 68 active wildfires in northern Ontario today, including 28 in the northeast and 39 in the northwest.

There were 62 active wildfires yesterday.

Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources says there is heavy smoke across the northeast due to fires in the province and in Quebec, with the smoke travelling as far north as Timmins and south past Sudbury.

Nova Scotia firefighters using helicopters to locate hot spots

Nova Scotia firefighters are using helicopters to scan a massive wildfire that’s still out of control in Shelburne County to find the best spots to battle the blaze.

Officials with the province’s Department of Natural Resources will be flying over the fire in southwest Nova Scotia this week and using infrared scanners to detect areas where firefighters should be dispatched.

The 235-square-kilometre Barrington Lake wildfire in Shelburne County is no longer growing but is still classified as out of control.

The wildfire has forced more than 6,000 people from their homes and destroyed 60 houses and cottages, as well as 150 other structures.

The province says there are 139 firefighters from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States fighting the flames.

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