Gateway Gazette

Provincial Governement Update on Fort McMurray Wildfire

Public safety remains the key priority as the wildfire in Fort McMurray continues to burn. Provincial fire crews continue their efforts to reduce the threat to property and infrastructure.

Current situation

  • The Alberta government has declared a provincial state of emergency.
  • The mandatory evacuation order remains in effect and affects approximately 80,000 people. Residents should not attempt to return home.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Canadian Forces for air support to assist with transportation as needed.
  • More than 250 firefighters, helicopters and air tankers are currently fighting this fire.
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have both declared a State of Local Emergency.
  • Alberta Transportation is escorting a fuel tanker along Highway 63 to assist stranded motorists. Please stay with your vehicle unless your situation requires you to leave.
  • Since April 1, there have been 329 wildfires in the province. All but two have been contained.

Evacuation information

  • There are currently six reception centres operating within the province. Details are available on the Alberta government emergency updates website.
  • Evacuees should contact Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070 to register their location. It’s important to register to ensure officials know how to reach you and to verify you got out safely.

Information for affected residents

  • Evacuated residents should retain all their receipts for food purchases, accommodations and other related expenses to provide to their insurer for possible reimbursement.
  • A boil-water advisory has been issued by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. This advisory also affects camps within the region.
  • Albertans can stay informed on latest developments by downloading the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.
  • Alberta Health Services has issued an Air Quality Advisory for the Fort McMurray area; residents are advised to take appropriate precautions.
  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

Closures and affected services

  • All provincial offices in Fort McMurray are closed due to the evacuation.
  • Motorists should not travel to Fort McMurray on either Highway 63 or Highway 881. Only essential travel should be undertaken.
  • Highway 63 is closed at the Airport Road Junction. Only southbound traffic may pass through the barricade.
  • There are traffic controls in place at Highway 63 and 881. Priority is given to emergency responders. Southbound traffic is allowed.
  • Traffic controls are in place at Highway 63 and 55 at Atmore Drive. Only traffic to Wandering River is allowed to pass.
  • Traffic controls are in place at Highway 851 and 881. Drivers are allowed to travel as far as Conklin.

Donations and volunteers

  • The Canadian Red Cross is accepting donations via phone, online or through text message. Details can be found at
  • At this time, we are not seeking volunteers.


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