Yellowhead County wildfire flares up, Evansburg and area ordered to evacuate again

Click to play video: 'Dry weather across Alberta increases wildfire, grassfire risk'
Dry weather across Alberta increases wildfire, grassfire risk
The spring of 2023 is off to a dry start across Alberta and it's a tricky time of year as wildfire season is also underway. As Nicole Stillger reports, conditions are ripe for more fires to spark – Apr 28, 2023

After only being allowed to return home Wednesday, people from the Alberta communities Evansburg, Wildwood, Lobstick, Hansonville in Yellowhead County were all told to flee again on Thursday because of a wildfire threat.

An Alberta Emergency Alert send just before 8:30 p.m. said the evacuation area starts at the Pembina River and goes west to Range Road 101. The north border is Township Road 550 and south border to Township Road 520 and includes the above-mentioned communities.

Anyone in that area of the county needs to evacuate. The evacuation route is west on Highway 16. A reception centre is set up once again at the Edson Leisure Centre.

Bus transportation to Edson is being provided from Tipple Park Museum and the Wildwood Community Hall.

An earlier emergency alert was only in effect for an area north of the hamlet of Wildwood but was expanded in the evening.

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Residents were told to gather their pets, important documents, medication and enough food and water to be away from home for at least three days.

The forest fire in that area, now called the Deep Creek Wildfire, was first detected the evening of Saturday, April 29 and is a mutual aid wildfire being fought by Yellowhead County and Alberta Wildfire.

It’s located on both sides of Highway 22, north of Highway 16, and is burning out of control in a mix of grass, shrub, trees and marsh.

The wildfire was re-assessed and Alberta Wildfire said as of Thursday evening, it’s now estimated to be 2,400 hectares in size — a growth of about 200 hectares since the afternoon.

Click to play video: 'Parkland and Yellowhead county residents allowed to return home'
Parkland and Yellowhead county residents allowed to return home

The province said 16 pieces of heavy equipment and five helicopters are assisting 55 firefighters. They will continue to work in high priority areas to reinforce containment lines and prevent the fire from spreading further into rural properties.

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Most of the fire activity on Thursday was primarily in the interior of the wildfire, the province said. Airtankers are working along the north end of the fire to prevent further spread.

Firefighters are using pumps and hose to spray water deep into the ground and shovels are being used to stir up the ground layers so that water can travel deep into the earth and fully extinguish smoldering hotspots.

Click to play video: 'Fire risk in Alberta even more extreme than 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire'
Fire risk in Alberta even more extreme than 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire

Crews are working near the rural subdivision of Lobstick Resorts and the hamlet of Wildwood, as well as east of Range Road 92 and towards the south side of Township Road 544 to prevent spread towards Chip Lake and Evansburg.

Firefighters will also be working on the north side of the fire, west side of Highway 22. Alberta Wildfire said it was assisting the county as required on to the east of the highway to prevent further spread towards Evansburg.

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More hot and dry conditions are expected to continue.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire evacuation orders issued across Alberta'
Wildfire evacuation orders issued across Alberta

On Friday, Alberta Wildfire expected light winds will remain in the morning at 10 km/h, but to increase from the east-southeast 20-25 km/h with gusts of 45 km/h around noon and remain gusty throughout the evening.

Temperatures will remain in the mid 20s throughout the day. No precipitation is expected in the next 48 hours, the province said.

The flare-up comes as several other wildfires have broken out across Alberta in the past day.

Most of central Alberta is under a fire ban after a period of windy and unseasonably hot conditions, with little chance of rain in the forecast.

Click to play video: 'Wildfire evacuation in northern Alberta forces thousands from their homes'
Wildfire evacuation in northern Alberta forces thousands from their homes

About an hour south of the this fire, rural properties in Brazeau County near Drayton Valley were told to evacuate on Wednesday and Thursday.

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In the far northwestern tip of Alberta, several thousand people were told to flee Fox Lake and the  Little Red River Cree Nation because of a fire that ballooned out of control overnight.

According to Alberta Wildfire, there are 63 active wildfires in the province, 19 of which are out of control.

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