May 30, 2019 3:16 pm
Updated: June 11, 2019 6:40 pm

Alberta wildfires: Evacuation alerts and orders in place across the province

WATCH ABOVE: Drone footage via the Government of Alberta shows large clouds of smoke from the wildfires threatening areas of northern Alberta.

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Large sections of northern Alberta are being consumed by wildfires and almost every day has brought new advisories and orders.

The fires are burning in multiple areas hundreds of kilometres apart, triggering evacuations of several communities in northwestern and north-central Alberta.

Here is a summary of the existing alerts and orders across Alberta. This story will be updated whenever a new alert is issued.

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Traffic issues such a road closures are posted to the Alberta 511 government website.

Evacuation orders

Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement

Because of the Chuckegg Creek Fire near High Level, an evacuation order was issued at 7 p.m. on May 29 for all residents from the northern border of the County of Northern Lights south to Township Road 922, including the communities of the Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement, Keg River and Carcajou.

As of June 11, the evacuation order remained in place for Paddle Prairie Métis Settlement.

“We are planning the community’s re-entry as well but there is a lot of work that needs to be completed before this can happen,” the community wrote on its Facebook page. “We are looking for temporary housing, inspections and cleaning for buildings and homes.”

MD of Opportunity

The remote northern Alberta community of Chipewyan Lake Village in the MD of Opportunity was ordered to evacuate overnight May 30 due to wildfire.

A reception centre was set up at the Calling Lake Rec and Cultural Centre (2870 Central Dr.) and all evacuees were urged to go register there and receive further information.

The community is located in a remote area in the centre of northern Alberta, accessible via dirt roads and plane, about 250 kilometres north of Slave Lake, and 110 kilometres north of Wabasca.

The hamlet of Wabasca in the MD of Opportunity and the Bigstone Cree Nation – Wabasca #166 were put under a mandatory immediate evacuation order at 8:44 p.m. on May 29.

Follow the MD of Opportunity’s emergency management Facebook page for updates.

According to the municipality, the area is home to 3,300 people.

As of June 11, the mandatory evacuation order remained for Wabasca, Bigstone Cree Nation, Sandy Lake and Chipewyan Lake Village.

According to the province, residents from Bigstone Cree Nation and Wabasca-Demarais will be able to return to their homes on Wednesday, June 12.

Evacuation alerts/wildfire information

Town of High Level

After nearly two weeks, the mandatory evacuation order for High Level, the surrounding areas of Mackenzie County and the Dene Tha’ First Nation communities of Bushe River, Meander River and Chateh was lifted at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 3.

People were allowed back into their homes.

High Level Mayor Crystal McAteer said in a video that while the mandatory evacuation order is lifted, an evacuation alert remains in place.

She said that means residents should be ready to leave again at short notice if the fire threat returns.

Mackenzie County

As of Tuesday, June 11, the emergency alert for Mackenzie County was cancelled. However, county officials warned there are still wildfires in the area and that “the public must keep informed regarding fire activity in their area.”

As of Monday, June 10, an eight-hour evacuation alert remained in effect for the area west of Blues Creek and Blue Hills Road, north and south of Highway 697.

For more information, click here for Mackenzie County, here for Dene Tha First Nation and here for High Level.

Dene Tha’ First Nation

As of June 10, Dene Tha’ First Nation remained on evacuation alert.

An eight-hour evacuation notice is in place for Bushe River, Meander River, and Chateh.

Check the Dene Tha’ First Nation Facebook page for updates.

Town of Slave Lake

Due to extremely dry conditions and unstable wildfire activity, the Town of Slave Lake was put on a modified 12-hour evacuation alert — a downgrade from the eight-hour evacuation alert it was previously under.

The town said it is not in imminent danger, however residents should be prepared to evacuate on short notice.

Slave Lake is 250 kilometres north of Edmonton.

Municipal District of Lesser Slave River

The Municipal District of Lesser Slave River declared a local state of emergency at 11:22 a.m. on May 30 due to advancing wildfires in the Marten Hills crown land area. The Hamlet of Marten Beach, on the north shore of Lesser Slave Lake, was evacuated.

As of noon on Tuesday, June 4, that evacuation order for Marten Beach was lifted and replaced with a 12-hour evacuation alert. The alert includes Old Smith Highway, Mitsue, Poplar Lane, Fawcett Lake, Eben Road and Bayer Road.

On June 7, the 12-hour evacuation alert for the town of Slave Lake was lifted.

On June 10, the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River No. 124 cancelled the wildfire-related emergency alert for the area but warned that “people in the area should be prepared to evacuate on short notice if the situation changes.”

The MD remained on evacuation alert as of June 10.

Visit the district’s website, Facebook page and Twitter for updates.

Northern Lights County

At noon on June 3, mandatory evacuation orders were lifted for the following areas at the south end of the County of Northern Lights: north from Township Road 922, south from the Twin Lakes Provincial Campground, west from the Notikewin River. However, the county said area residents “must still be prepared to evacuate on short notice.”

On June 5, an alert said residents returning to the area north of Twin Lakes Provincial Campground, including Keg River/Carcajou, to the county’s north boundary, should also prepare to leave on short notice.

As of June 10, an eight-hour evacuation notice remained in place for Keg River, Carcajou and from Twin Lakes Campground to the county’s northern border.

Visit the county’s website for more information.

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