Gateway Gazette

High Level Forest Area | Wildfire Update May 20, 2019

We have: 89 firefighters, 24 helicopters, 12 dozers/track hoes, and 3 water bombers fighting this fire – Devin Dreeshan, Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA

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The wildfire danger for the High Level Forest Area has climbed to Extreme. Due to warmer temperatures, gusty winds and no significant rainfall in the forecast. A Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction is now in effect. Please use caution in the forested areas. To report a wildfire please call 310-FIRE. 

WEATHER | MAY 20, 2019

We are currently under a dry airmass that is not moving. The airmass brings higher temperatures and very low relative humidity, combined with strong gusty winds that is creating a challenging environment for firefighters. This weather is expected to extend through the rest of the week. There is no rain in the forecast.

WILDFIRE UPDATE | MAY 19, 2019 AT 6:30 PM

The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire (Fire number, HWF042)

The Chuckegg Creek fire has grown due to strong winds, and is now approximately 69, 000 hectares. This fire is located approximately 3 km south of the Town of High Level and remains classified as Out of Control (OC). Warm temperatures and high gusty winds are forecast again for today; in result the fire has been experiencing increased fire activity.

Firefighters along with air support from helicopters and air tankers have been focusing efforts on the east side of highway 35 today, and have been effective. Alberta Wildfire has 64 firefighters, heavy equipment, along with air support from helicopters and air tankers working to contain this fire. Due to strong southeast winds the main area of spread has been on the northwest side of the fire, away from town.

Alberta Wildfire has additional resources that have been requested.

Town of High Level | Update 

The Town of High Level has issued an Evacuation Order for the town as of May 20, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Evacuations will be carried out by zones, within town limits. Residents are recommended to secure their residences (lock doors and windows) take any personal belongings (pets, identification, medication, small denomination of cash, etc). 

For more info please continue to monitor the Town Website at www.highlevel.ca  call 780-926-2201 or visit Alberta Emergency Alert for more updates. 

Mackenzie County | Update

A mandatory evacuation has been issued for residents south and southeast of the Town of High Level at 11:40 a.m. on May 20, 2019 due to the wildfire threat in the area and limited access to the area.

Reception Centre for Mackenzie County residents is at the La Crete Heritage Centre located at 15411- TWP RD 1060 South of La Crete. If you are evacuating please call into the reception centre to register at 780.928.4447.

Alberta Transportation

Alberta Transportation has closed highway 35 south of High Level as well as highway 58 west of High Level, due to the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire (HWF042). To stay informed on all road closure info visit the Alberta Transportation website or download the mobile app.

Smoke Issues

Smoke from the Chuckegg Creek wildfire is affecting far distances in our area. Including; Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermilion and La Crete. If you are experiencing health related smoke issues please contact your doctor or Alberta Health Services.

There are four active wildfires in the High Level Forest Area. Of these fires; 1 is classified as Out of Control (OC) and three are classified as Under Control (UC). To see a map of all fire locations and statuses within the High Level Forest Area please click here.

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FIRE BAN AND OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE RESTRICTION IN EFFECT

As of 6:00 p.m. on May 16, 2019, a Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction is in effect for the High Level Forest Area. Due to warmer temperatures, gusty winds and no significant rain in the forecast. The ban and restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve. All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued.

Prohibited

  • All open fires including campfires in campgrounds, backcountry and random camping areas and backyard fire pits.
  • Charcoal briquettes, turkey fryers and tiki torches.
  • Fireworks and exploding targets.
  • The use of off-highway vehicles for recreational use on all public lands.

Allowed

  • Portable propane fire pits that are CSA approved or UL certified.
  • Gas or propane stoves and barbecues that are CSA approved or UL certified and are designed for cooking or heating.
  • Catalytic or infrared-style heaters.

Visit albertafirebans.ca for more information or download the new Alberta Fire Bans mobile app.


ALBERTA FIRE BANS NEW MOBILE APP

Download the new Alberta fire ban app, available for Android and Apple devices, to make planning your next outdoor adventure a breeze!

Features include:

  • Push notification settings for specific geographic areas.
  • Three distinct categories – fire bans, restrictions and advisories.
  • Up-to-date data sourced directly from provincial fire authorities.
  • Provides data from last time opened even without data or WiFi.

Victoria Ostendorf

Wildfire Information Officer

High Level Forest Area

Mobile: 1-866-394-3743

victoria.ostendorf@gov.ab.ca

RELATED INFORMATION

Chuckegg Creek wildfire

We have: 89 firefighters, 24 helicopters, 12 dozers/track hoes, and 3 water bombers fighting this fire

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