Alberta Wildfire: Cold Lake First Nation evacuation order rescinded

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

On a hot, windy day that saw several wildfires flare up across Alberta, a fire on the eastern side of the province also triggered an evacuation alert in the Cold Lake area.

An Alberta Emergency Alert was issued just before 6:30 p.m, for the Cold Lake First Nation, which said there was a wildfire on the southeast side of the community between Highway 897 and Range Road 24.

The fire was moving west toward Range Road 24 and one home has already been lost, the alert said.

Everyone south of Township Road 614 and up to Range Road 24 in Cold Lake First Nation must flee immediately.

Evacuees were told to go to the Dene Hotel and Conference Centre on Highway 28 and Range Road 423. Anyone needing help to get out should call 780-545-3332.

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People were advised to take their pets, important documents and medication, and enough food, water and supplies for three days.

On Friday at around 1:13 p.m., the Cold Lake First Nation issued an update on its Facebook page saying residents can now safely return to their homes.

The changing wind conditions helped local firefighting crews to successfully contain the fire, according to an image of a news release in the Facebook post.

“Local crews are on site extinguishing the few remaining hot spots and road crews are continuing to install fire breaks throughout the community,” the nation said.

“We are pleased to report that the evacuation of approximately 40 homes has been carried out efficiently and with the utmost care, and we are grateful to report that there have been no injuries or loss of occupied homes associated with this incident.”

Other wildfires in Alberta

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

Late in the afternoon, an evacuation order was issued for part of Lac Ste. Anne County, where officials said a wildfire was burning near Range Road 60 and Township Road 560.

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Earlier in the day, the county said the separate Yellowhead County fire was approaching from the south, so an evacuation alert was also in effect for the area south of Township Road 570 and west of Range Road 80 to the county border at Range Road 100.

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

A different evacuation order was issued because of that fire for people who live north of Wildwood in rural Yellowhead County.

About an hour’s drive south of that fire, rural properties in Brazeau County near Drayton Valley were also told to evacuate on Wednesday and Thursday because of a blaze there.

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 flared out of control overnight.

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According to Alberta Wildfire, there are 72 active wildfires in the province, 19 of which are out of control.

–With files from Paula Tran, Global News.

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