Update 2: Alberta wildfire situation
A fire ban and off-highway vehicle restriction are in place for the Forest Protection Area of Alberta due to hot, dry conditions throughout the province.
More than 13,000 individuals have been evacuated from communities throughout north and central Alberta.
Mandatory evacuation orders are in effect for the following areas:
Yellowhead County and the Town of Edson have issued an immediate evacuation order. Western boundary of evacuation zone is Marlboro and Range Road 200 all the way to the east of Yellowhead County. Northern boundary is Township Road 550 and southern is Township Road 520. This includes the town of Edson.
The County of Grande Prairie from Township Road 710 to the Wapiti River and Highway 40 to Range Road 72. Evacuees should register at the Bonnets Energy Centre, 10017 99 Avenue, Grande Prairie.
Brazeau County from Township Road 482 to 494 from the North Saskatchewan River west to Range Road 84, including the entire town of Drayton Valley. Evacuees should register in Edmonton at the Expo Centre, Hall C, at 7515 118 Avenue.
Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. Everyone in Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation must evacuate and should register at Memorial Hall, 4808 50 Street in Valleyview.
Fourth Creek area of Saddle Hills County, between Township Road 840 and the Peace River between Range Road 75 and Range Road 85.
Lac Ste Anne County west of Highway 43, and Range Road 60 west to Highway 757 from Brock Lake in the south to Township Road 564 in the north. Evacuees should register at the Mayerthorpe Diamond Centre at 4184 54 Street.
Athabasca County on Range Road 214 and 215, north of Township Road 674 to the Athabasca River. Evacuees should register at the Athabasca Regional Multiplex.
East part of Yellowhead County, starting at the Pembina River west to Range Road 101, north border is Township Road 550 and south border is Township Road 520, including Evansburg, Wildwood, Lobstick and Hansonville. Evacuees should register at the Edson Leisure Centre.
Yellowhead County from Elk River Road in the north, the Brazeau Reservoir in the east, just past Brazeau River in the south and Range Road 145 in the west.
Leduc County from Range Road 41 east to Range Road 35 and from Township Road 494 north to Township Road 495. Evacuees should register with Leduc County by calling 780-955-4546.
The Hamlet of Entwistle, west of Range Road 65. Evacuees should register at Wabamun Jubilee Hall at 5132 53 Avenue in Wabamun.
The entire community of Fox Lake (Little Red River Cree Nation). Evacuees have been asked to go to the Fox Lake Band Office or call 1-888-201-3053.
Residents of the following areas should be prepared to evacuate on short notice:
Residents of the communities of Whitefish River and Atikameg.
Residents of the area west of Beaverdam Provincial Recreation Area and east of the Bighorn Dam, including the hamlet of Nordegg.
Residents of Heart Lake First Nation 167.
Residents northeast of Swan Hills along Highway 33.
Seven declared states of local emergency and one band council resolution include:
Beaver Lake Cree Nation
County of Grande Prairie
Lac St. Anne County
The Little Red River Cree Nation has declared a band council resolution
Wildfire HWF-030 is threatening the community of Fox Lake. At the time of this report, 20 households, the police station, the Northern Store and the water treatment plant have been lost. A reception centre has opened at the Fox Lake Band Office and additional support resources are being identified to support evacuees.
Information for evacuees
Evacuees should register at the reception centre identified for their community so staff can quickly assist them and connect them with the resources they need.
Evacuees with special needs who are unable to stay in an evacuation centre can request emergency financial assistance to cover hotel accommodations.
Special needs could include having a disability, a medical condition or other family needs.
Apply for emergency financial assistance by visiting an Alberta Supports Centre or calling the Income Support Contact Centre at 1-866-644-5135. Information is also available through the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.
Fire bans and other restrictions
Unusually warm, dry weather and strong winds mean it is easier for a wildfire to start and spread.
As a result of these conditions, the entire province is under a fire ban. No open burning is allowed, including backyard fire pits inside the Forest Protection Area. Alberta Parks and many municipalities and communities have ordered their own bans and restrictions. For more information, visit Albertafirebans.ca
A provincial off-highway vehicle restriction is also in place, which means the recreational use of off-highway vehicles on public land, including on designated OHV trails, is prohibited.
Wildfire activity updates
There are currently 92 active wildfires in Alberta, 31 of which are classified as out of control. Of the remaining fires, 17 are being held and 44 are under control.
Information on all wildfires is on the Alberta Wildfire dashboard and the Alberta Wildfire app.
The wildfire near Drayton Valley (RCU-005) is two kilometres south of Drayton Valley and currently 500 hectares in size. Alberta Wildfire is assisting Brazeau County as the lead. Currently 25 firefighters, three helicopters and air tanker support are working on the fire.
The Fox Lake wildfire (HWF-030) is currently 4,383 hectares with 42 firefighters, five helicopters and two more en route, two air tankers and six structural protection crews working on the fire.
The wildfire near Rainbow Lake (HWF-036) is 1,822 hectares with 24 firefighters, one aircraft and one helicopter working on the fire. Heavy bucketing helicopters are operating in the High Level area.
The wildfire near Evansburg (WCU-002) is currently 2,254 hectares in size with 64 firefighters, five helicopters and 14 pieces of heavy equipment working on the fire.
The wildfire 43 kilometres southeast of Edson (EWF-031) is currently 24,000 hectares. Oil and gas facilities and one campground were evacuated during the night of May 4. There are three helicopters currently working on the fire.
There are multiple road closures and advisories for north and central Alberta.
Visit 511.alberta.ca for up-to-date information on road closures and travel advisories.
Alberta Health Services is supporting the evacuation of the Drayton Valley Hospital.
Patients will be moved to Rocky Mountain House and Edmonton hospitals.
Alberta Health Services is deploying mobile air quality monitoring, as multiple communities are reporting high levels of smoke and ash residue.
The Drayton Valley circuit court is within the Town of Drayton Valley’s evacuation order. The next sitting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 16.
The Evansburg circuit court is under evacuation order. Its sitting scheduled for Monday, May 8 will tentatively be moved to Stony Plain.
Alberta Emergency Alerts
For up-to-the-minute Alberta Emergency Alert information, visit Alberta Emergency Alert.
Albertans are encouraged to download the Alberta Emergency Alert mobile app, which immediately pushes all alerts out to subscribers.