5,000 people living in and near High Level, AB are still under an evacuation order because of the danger of an out-of-control wildfire, reports CBC. The Town of High Level issued an evacuation order at 4 pm local time on Monday, telling residents to secure their residences and take their personal belongings, and prepare to be away from their homes for at least 72-hours.
Manned barricades were set up on all roads to prevent people from entering the evacuated areas without permission, the town said. A state of local emergency was declared due to the wildfires at 11:15 am on Monday.
“Residents must prepare to leave immediately when officials order an evacuation,” Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen said in a news release Monday. “It’s important to stay vigilant at times like this and pay close attention to the advice of emergency management experts.”
A successful controlled burn was done Wednesday afternoon south and west of the community as part of efforts to contain the out-of-control Chuckegg Creek fire and more of these operations will be done when conditions allow.
The wildfire now covers some 92,000 hectares and remains less than 2-miles southwest of the town.
The fire near the community, 280-miles north of Grande Prairie, had burned 69,000 hectares when the order was issued and has more than tripled in size since Sunday when it was burning about 15-miles southwest of the town.
“The bulk of the fire spread has been to the north and west, and that’s taking the main spread of the fire away from the town of High Level,” Elliot said. “But we felt in working with the mayor that the level of threat presented by this fire to the community warranted the decision that the mayor and council undertook today.”
The wildfire danger in much of northern Alberta was rated as extreme, with the risk rated as high to very high in the central-west part of the province. There are seven out-of-control fires burning in the area. Fire bans are in place in northern Alberta, and the Edson forest area is under a fire advisory as winds and dry conditions are expected to cause the risk of wildfires to increase.