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Evacuation order in Parkland County as wildfire rages west of Edmonton

Click to play video: 'Wildfire rages west of Edmonton as a windy night is expected' Wildfire rages west of Edmonton as a windy night is expected
A wildfire that flared up Thursday near the hamlet of Tomahawk in Parkland County is expected to continue burning overnight, fueled by tinder dry conditions and high winds west of Edmonton. Phil Darlington has this update on what conditions to expect. – May 7, 2021

UPDATE: For the latest information on the Parkland County wildfire, a new story for Friday, May 7 can be found here.

Parkland County issued a mandatory wildfire evacuation order early Friday morning for the following areas of the municipality west of Edmonton:

  • Highway 22 to the west
  • Township Road 524 to the north (Updated at 1:45 a.m. from Township Road 520)
  • Range Road 63 to the east
  • Township Road 510 to the south

Residents in those areas must evacuate immediately. Bring identification, medication, blankets, sleeping bags, personal items, important documents, household pets and pet care items if possible.

All evacuees are required to register at the reception center, either in person or by phone at the Tomahawk and District Sports Arena (51122 AB-759, Tomahawk, AB T0E 2H0.)  Phone: 780-203-3258.

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Previous story below: 

Emergency officials are battling a wildfire near the rural community of Tomahawk in Parkland County.

An Alberta Emergency Alert said the wildfire was west of Tomahawk in the area of Range Road 62 and Range Road 70, and Township Roads 510 and 514. It is moving rapidly in a northwest direction, the alert at 9 p.m. said.

The fire flared up late Thursday afternoon near the hamlet south of Wabamun Lake. Photos and videos from area residents showed trees burning and a huge plume of black smoke in the air.

The smoke could be seen from as far away as Drayton Valley and Seba Beach.

Click to play video: 'Tomahawk wildfire rages into the night west of Edmonton in Parkland County' Tomahawk wildfire rages into the night west of Edmonton in Parkland County
Tomahawk wildfire rages into the night west of Edmonton in Parkland County – May 7, 2021

It was windy across Alberta on Thursday, with the Edmonton region seeing sustained winds of around 30 km/h with guts of 52 km/h, according to Environment Canada.

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The winds out of the southeast are expected to stay in the 25 to 50 km/h range overnight, possibly gusting to 60 in that area.

Fire growth is expected due to windy conditions, the alert said, adding crews will be working overnight to try and get it under control.

“Please take all necessary precautions, including leaving the area. Residents who live west of Range Road 62 to the western border of Parkland County should be prepared for possible immediate evacuation.”

A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Melanie Klein Calvert

A Global News crew at the scene was able to see that dozens of properties had been evacuated from Highway 624 and Range Road 63 all the way past Highway 22 up to Moon Lake.

County fire crews were too busy responding to the fire to speak with Global News on Thursday, and a command post could be seen set up on Range Road 63, north of Highway 624.

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A government spokesperson said Alberta Wildfire crews were providing mutual aid support.

Read more: Wildfire in Lac La Biche County now 90% contained

Air tankers were working in the area with more on way, the province said. At least two tanker planes were seen dropping fire retardant, and a helicopter was dumping water over the blaze.

Click to play video: 'Crews battle wildfire flares up west of Edmonton near Tomahawk' Crews battle wildfire flares up west of Edmonton near Tomahawk
Crews battle wildfire flares up west of Edmonton near Tomahawk – May 6, 2021

RCMP have many roads blocked off in the area and Global News saw residents along some roads, ready to evacuate just in case. The wind was observed blowing away from the community.

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One resident told Global News the area where the fire was burning is full of peat moss, which the Government of Canada says creates a lot of smoke and can be difficult to extinguish.

A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Shelly Ryberg

The county west of Edmonton had been under a fire bans and restrictions since mid-April, however they were lifted on Tuesday of this week.

BELOW: Photos from the Tomahawk wildfire

A wildfire that flared up Thursday near the hamlet of Tomahawk, south of Wabamun Lake in Parkland County, continued to burn overnight in the rural area west of Edmonton. May 6, 2021. Global News
A wildfire that flared up Thursday near the hamlet of Tomahawk, south of Wabamun Lake in Parkland County, continued to burn overnight in the rural area west of Edmonton. May 6, 2021. Global News
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Alberta Wildfire
RCMP blocking off a road due to a wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Global News
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Heather Bilsborrow Rominick
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Shelly Ryberg
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A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Melanie Klein Calvert
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Meg Chateauvert
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Breanne Burch
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021.
A wildfire burning near Tomahawk in Parkland County, west of Edmonton, on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Courtesy: Melanie Fell
Smoke in the sky over the community of Seba Beach in Parkland County, Alta. on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Credit: Barb Croteau
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A reception centre for Parkland County wildfire evacuees is set up at the Tomahawk and District Sports Arena (51122 AB-759, Tomahawk, AB). Global News

 

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