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A firefighter conducts a controlled ignition on the Sturgeon Lake Wildfire Complex GCX001 near Valleyview, Alberta.

Alberta Wildfire/Handout via REUTERS

Alberta wildfires send smoke far and wide – and south

Canada’s wildfire season is already in full swing, with a series of intense blazes in Alberta that have sent toxic smoke across the country and into the US Midwest. A wet and cold weekend followed by cooler temperatures this week helped firefighters from Canada and the US battle the 100+ fires, but dozens of blazes remain out of control. Fires are also burning in the provinces of British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, where thousands have been forced to evacuate. And it’s only May – wildfire season goes through September.

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks during the Canada Strong and Free Networking Conference in Ottawa, Canada.

REUTERS/Lars Hagberg

Two battles at once in Alberta, the home of key US energy exports

Alberta is in the middle of a tight election, the first for United Conservative Party Premier Danielle Smith. She won the party’s leadership after former Premier Jason Kenney resigned last May following his poor showing in a leadership review vote. This election is really a battle pitting Smith’s UPC against the left-wing New Democratic Party and former Alberta Premier Rachel Notley. But suddenly, a third player has emerged, and it could prove decisive.

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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

REUTERS/Todd Korol

Alberta heads to the polls

Oil executives will be keeping an eye on the too-close-to-call Alberta election campaign that kicked off this week. The race pits incumbent Danielle Smith, a fiery libertarian, against former Premier Rachel Notley, leader of the leftist New Democrats.

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