Wildfires Rage in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, Prompting Local Concerns and Evacuation Alerts

Wildfire Update

EDMONTON – Wildfire Update – On May 14, 2024, Alberta’s Forest Protection Area became the focal point of intense firefighting efforts as two major wildfires continued to spread. The wildfires, identified as MWF017 near Fort McMurray and GCU-007 near Teepee Creek, pose significant threats to nearby communities and have prompted the issuance of evacuation alerts.

MWF017 Wildfire Details:

  • Current Status: Out of control, covering 9,602 hectares.
  • Location: Approximately 13.5 km from the Fort McMurray landfill and 13 km from the junction of highways 63 and 881.
  • Recent Activity: The fire exhibited increased activity yesterday, expanding significantly to the northeast. Shifting winds have caused the fire to grow in multiple directions, resulting in large smoke columns.
  • Response: Overnight, two night vision helicopters and a team using heavy equipment worked to combat the fire. Today, 70 firefighters, supported by 14 helicopters and airtankers, are focusing on establishing containment lines and dropping water on active fire edges.
  • Weather Impact: Winds from the west-southwest at 20 km/h, gusting to 35 km/h, are expected today, complicating firefighting efforts. Smoke will continue to affect the area.
  • Structure Protection: Measures are in place at Rickards Landing Industrial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates, and Gregoire Lake 176. Plans for additional structure protection are being developed for the southern industrial part of Fort McMurray.

GCU-007 (The Kleskun Creek Fire) Details:

  • Current Status: Out of control, estimated at 1,382 hectares.
  • Location: 4 km east of the town of Teepee Creek.
  • Recent Activity: Firefighters managed to suppress further growth of the fire yesterday. No perimeter expansion has been observed.
  • Response: A night vision helicopter, a wildfire crew, and heavy equipment were deployed to secure the perimeter around priority hotspots. Additional firefighting resources are expected today to assist with cold trailing and extinguishing remaining hotspots.

Evacuation and Safety Measures:

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has issued evacuation alerts for the residents of Fort McMurray, Saprae Creek, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, and Anzac. Residents are advised to stay informed through the Alberta Emergency Alert system and to prepare for possible evacuation.

For updates on road closures and travel advisories, residents and travelers in the affected areas should consult 511 Alberta.

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