Alberta Wildfire Update: Re-Entry and Current Situation May 20, 2024, 3 PM MDT

Wildland Forest Wildfire Update

Current Situation May 20 2024

EDMONTON – WILDFIRE UPDATE – As of May 18, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo lifted the state of local emergency and the evacuation order for Abasand, Beacon Hill, Prairie Creek, and Grayling Terrace. On May 19, the MWF017 wildfire was classified as being held, indicating that current weather conditions and resources are expected to prevent the wildfire from expanding beyond its current boundaries.

Key Developments:

  • Structure Protection Equipment: Removal has begun due to reduced wildfire risk.
  • Fire Guard: Over 25 km of fire guard built southwest of Fort McMurray; heavy equipment resources reduced to 28 operators.
  • Containment Efforts: Recent rain has aided containment. Firefighters and equipment operators continue to manage hot spots.
  • Fire Activity: Anticipated increase in interior activity with warmer, drier conditions; smoke may reappear.
  • Fire Bans: Remain in place for Fort McMurray, High Level, and Grande Prairie Forest areas, along with off-highway vehicle restrictions.

Support for Evacuees

Evacuee support remains available. Residents previously under evacuation are no longer eligible for Emergency Evacuation Payments as the mandatory order was lifted before the seven-day threshold.

  • Registered Evacuees: 3,028
  • Support Resources: Visit or call 310-4455 for assistance.

Roads and Highways

Currently, no highway closures due to wildfires. For updates, visit 511 Alberta.

Health Care

No hospital closures reported. For information on health care facilities in affected areas, visit Alberta Health Services.


All schools in Fort McMurray will reopen on May 21. Families should contact their school authorities for the latest information on learning continuity and supports:

  • Fort McMurray Public Schools
  • Fort McMurray Catholic Schools
  • Northland School Division
  • Conseil-Scolaire Centre-Nord

Emergency Preparedness

Albertans are encouraged to prepare for emergencies by stocking supplies for at least one week, including food, water, medications, important documents, and pet supplies.

Wildfire Updates

Weekly briefings with Minister of Forestry and Parks Todd Loewen and officials from Alberta Wildfire and the Alberta Emergency Management Agency are held on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m.

For the latest information and updates, visit the following resources:

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