Wildfire crews conduct a controlled burn ignition operation late Wednesday approximately three kilometres southwest of High Level where about 4000 residence were evacuated from the Chuckegg Creek fire.
Ed Kaiser / Postmedia
An out-of-control wildfire roaring towards High Level forced about 5,000 residents from their northwest Alberta homes last week as an evacuation order directed them to safety in communities hundreds of kilometres to the south.This story will be updated live as information is made available. The Chuckegg Creek wildfire is burning approximately three kilometres south of the town within Mackenzie County. The out-of-control wildfire is almost 107,000 hectares.Related
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MONDAY 9 a.m. Trout Lake wildfire ignitesA new fire started Sunday 14 kilometres south of Trout Lake has prompted the Peerless Lake First Nation to issue an evacuation alert. Residents should be prepared to evacuate from the community on short notice, the alert said.“Conditions remain extremely dry allowing a fire to ignite easily and spread very quickly,” the alert said. “Visibility will be poor in certain areas so caution must be used. The public should remain inside, limit exposure to smoke and seek medical attention if you experience breathing difficulties.”The fire is out of control and about 300 hectares in size, according to Alberta Wildfire. Three air tankers groups and five helicopters are battling the wildfire.Trout Lake is about 500 km north of Edmonton.High Level still safeMandatory evacuation orders expanded Sunday to include the community of Paddle Prairie, officially displacing 490 more people from their homes. Many residents had already voluntarily left the community 70 kilometres south of High Level.Sunday was a tense day for fire crews battling the Chuckegg Creek fire southwest of High Level as a shift in wind direction and change in weather conditions put a week’s worth of preparation to the test.“The potential for extreme fire behaviour is very high,” Scott Elliot, incident commander with Alberta Wildfire.Although wind blew smoke and flames toward High Level on Sunday, the breeze is expected to shift away from High Level overnight into Monday, Andrew Hanon, a spokesman for the provincial operations centre, said on Sunday night.The main area of spread remains away from town. So far no homes or businesses have been damaged.Alberta Wildfire has 400 firefighters along with 28 helicopters fighting the fire.Air quality warningsEnvironment Canada has issued air quality advisories for much of northern Alberta including Fort Chipewyan, Fot Mcmurray, High Level, Fort Vermilion, Peace River, High Prairie, Wabasca and Peerless Lake.“Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas,” the statement reads. “Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.”Fort McMurray recorded an Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) rate of 10, or high risk, Monday morning. Fort McKay is expected to reach a 10+, or very high risk, AQHI rating Monday.Edmonton’s AQHI rating remains at a 4, or moderate risk, Monday.