More than 29,000 people have been evacuated from communities across Alberta as wildfires rage across Canada.

(CNN) More than 100 A forest fire is spreading in Alberta, Canada More than 29,000 people have been forced to flee in what officials say is an “unprecedented situation” for the province.

In the past 24 hours alone, 16 new fires have been reported in Alberta, wildfire information lead Kristy Tucker said during a press conference Sunday evening.

According to Tucker, firefighters have battled 108 wildfires across the province, 31 of which are burning “out of control.”

This kind of brutal wildfire activity isn’t common this early in the year, and firefighters don’t typically see such a large area burning, Tucker said Sunday morning.

But bone-dry conditions, unusually warm weather and high winds have combined to fuel this “really intense wildfire activity,” Tucker said.

“We could settle for a long fight here,” he said.

Wildfires have burned a total of 375,000 hectares, about 926,000 acres, in Alberta so far this year, and the latest fires have burned a “huge amount of land” in the past few days, Tucker said.

Additional firefighters and resources are moving to Alberta from across the country to battle the growing blaze, and crews have already arrived from Quebec and Ontario to join the firefight, Tucker said.

Some gains were made on Sunday, as widespread rain fell across the province, helping firefighters access areas they couldn’t because of intense wildfire behavior.

Firefighters now hope cooler temperatures and higher humidity will help fight the blaze in the southern and central parts of the province — but conditions remain challenging in the northern part of the province, Tucker said.

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“In the north, it’s still very dry. We’re still looking at wind, and we’re expecting a continuation of those types of conditions that will lead to extreme wildfire behavior,” he told a news conference Sunday evening.

Communities in Alberta have seen the hottest temperatures in the past week, with the capital Edmonton hitting 31 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and Thursday, about 88 degrees Fahrenheit — 10 degrees above average — the Canadian Climate Center said. Services.

The region has seen a lack of rainfall, which may have contributed to extreme fire conditions in Alberta, drying out land and making fires more difficult to contain, CNN meteorologist Robert Shackelford said.

Tucker said crews facing “fast-changing wildfires across the province” will continue to focus on fires that threaten communities.

Meanwhile, several hospitals have been fully evacuated and several roads are closed in northern and central Alberta, provincial officials said.

So far, about 5,000 people have taken shelter in evacuation centers, Alberta Emergency Management chief Colin Blair told a news conference Sunday.

A smoky patch of forest burned near Edson, Alberta on Saturday.

The extent of the damage is yet to be seen

Thousands of Albertans are leaving their homes and moving to evacuation centers as evacuation orders are lifted, leaving them with no idea if they will have a home to return to.

said Rick LaBougan, who grew up in the Fox Lake community CNN affiliate CTV When the community returns, his family home will be gone.

“My whole side of the family, our little village in North Fox Lake, was all destroyed,” said LaBougan. “The homes of family and friends are gone.”

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As of Sunday in the Fox Lake community, the out-of-control wildfire had burned 16,300 hectares, about 40,200 acres. Officers said.

It was unclear how much damage the fire caused, Blair said, as thick smoke and severe fire conditions prevented crews from fully assessing property damage.

“We know that structures are lost, but our first priority is protecting lives and dealing with emergency response first,” Blair said.

Officials said dozens of structures were damaged, including in the Fox Lake area, where 56 firefighters with heavy equipment and aircraft were battling the blaze.

Many were also ordered to evacuate in Yellowhead County, where 8,000 people were ordered to evacuate immediately. Another 3,600 were ordered out of the Little Red River Cree Nation.

Another uncontrolled wildfire, named EWF-031, has burned about 77,920 hectares, about 192,500 acres, and is raging southeast of the town of Edson in Yellowhead County. Alberta fire officials.

Alberta Premier Daniel Smith called it an “unprecedented situation facing our province.”

“We’ve had a lot of fires spread because we’ve had unprecedented conditions this spring. … It’s been an unusual year,” Tucker said.

CNN’s Amy Simonson contributed to this report.

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