Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta

Chuckegg Creek wildfire near High Level

Extreme wildfire danger in Slave Lake, Alberta

Smoke from the wildfire can be seen in High Level and Norbord and local fire departments are on hand to help fight the blaze as needed. Officials are asking residents to register, even if they are not staying at the evacuation centre.

In some areas the homes in High Level, Alberta are closer than the homes were in Paradise, California before the Camp Fire of November, 2018. Residents who need financial support for meals for Wednesday can go to the Slave Lake reception centre after 12:10 p.m.to pick up lunch and supper vouchers.

"We've been responding to this fire for several days now, the extreme conditions are really hard to work in and safety factors have limited our access to the fire in any real meaningful way", Alberta Wildfire incident commander Scott Elliot said in a telephone conference call with reporters shortly after the town-wide evacuation order was issued Monday.

Premier Jason Kenney gave an update on Tuesday morning saying that thousands have been evacuated from High Level and Mackenzie County as well as parts of the Dene Tha' First Nation.

McAteer said the evacuation is being co-ordinated in zones.

Residents of High Level, Alta., were ordered to evacuate their homes on Monday as the largest of several wildfires in the province bore down on the small northern community.

So far some 4,000 people from High Level alone have packed up and left their homes.

McAteer says people should expect to be away for 72 hours.

Highway 58 west of High Level was also closed with a detour in place via Zama Road.

Scott Elliot, an incident commander with Alberta Wildfire, did have some good news on Monday, saying that the fire had shifted away from High Level.

"If there was a subtle shift in the wind direction, that would increase the likelihood of rapid fire spread towards the community", Elliot said.

The province says they have resources on standby to manage the fires should they escalate.

Fire crews were in town using sprinklers to water down properties overnight.

"People are of course afraid because they remember the wildfires of Fort McMurray, but we talked to a lot of the residents and reaffirmed that we were being proactive", she said.

Slave Lake, where a reception centre has been set up for residents of High Level, was also evacuated because of a wildfire in 2011 that destroyed parts of the community.

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