07/02/2015 03:06 EDT | Updated 07/03/2016 05:59 EDT

Alberta Wildfires: 200 Evacuated From Tallcree First Nation

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Fire chief Barry Bierman, of the Sonoma Lake Napa Unit Cal Fire crew, communicates through a radio while fighting the King Fire on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Mosquito, Calif. Nearly 2,000 firefighters were added Tuesday to battle a massive Northern California wildfire threatening thousands of homes in anticipation of erratic winds and hotter temperatures that could undo their progress. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
EDMONTON - About 200 people have fled their community in northern Alberta due to a wildfire.

Audrey Meneen, director of emergency management for Tallcree First Nation, says the wind shifted and was blowing the fire towards the main highway.

She says officials had previously decided if the fire was threatening to cut off Highway 88, they would evacuate the community as a precaution.

Meneen says residents went to High Level, about 160 kilometres northwest of the reserve, and were staying at a hotel.

The Alberta government says the fire was five kilometres form the Tallcree First Nation on Thursday.

There were also four wildfires burning north of Meander River and that community's residents were on evacuation alert.

The Alberta government says hot, dry conditions are pushing the threat of wildfires in forested areas to extreme levels.

The province says wildfires that start under these conditions can grow very large, very quickly and are very difficult to put out.

There are 46 wildfires listed as out of control Thursday and the government says there is a strong likelihood of more fires caused by lightning strikes.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for northeast Alberta due to wildfire smoke.

It says people should be aware of potential health concerns, and that even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

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