A number of out-of-control wildfires are burning in northern Alberta.
If you have questions about evacuation payments, locations of reception centres and other wildfire information, contact us.
Last updated: June 25 at 10:30 am
Information for evacuees
Evacuation reception centres
If you were affected by an evacuation order in a Mackenzie County community, you can continue to get assistance from:
Fort Vermilion Mackenzie County Office
8:15 am to 4:30 pm
Last updated: June 25 at 12:30 pm
Wildfire efforts continue in northern Alberta where a number of out-of-control wildfires are burning. States of local emergency remain in effect.
- Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 331,946 hectares.
- Jackpot Creek wildfire, located in the High Level Forest area, is about 77,468 hectares.
- McMillan Complex wildfire, located in the Slave Lake Forest area, is about 273,045 hectares.
Get wildfire updates at wildfire.alberta.ca.
Alberta Wildfire, Alberta Emergency Management Agency and local officials are cooperating in the response.
Chuckegg Creek Wildfire - out of control
- 1,153 wildland firefighters and staff
- 46 helicopters
- 311 pieces of heavy equipment
Jackpot Creek Wildfire - out of control
- 194 wildland firefighters and staff
- 25 helicopters
- 5 pieces of heavy equipment
McMillan Complex Wildfire - out of control
- 504 wildland firefighters and staff
- 45 helicopters
- 56 pieces of heavy equipment
Battle Wildfire Complex - now being held
- 282 wildland firefighters and staff
- 9 helicopters and heavy equipment
- 34 pieces of heavy equipment
Additional resources from other provinces and aviation and logistical supports from Public Safety Canada are supporting the wildfire response efforts.
Last updated: June 25 at 10 am
States of Local Emergency
The following communities remain under a State of Local Emergency:
- The Town of High Level
- Mackenzie County
- Dene Tha' First Nation
- Beaver First Nation
Last updated: June 25 at 9:30 am
Be sure to read through the topics below for information on re-entry, including clean-up, turning your utilities back on and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.
The following communities are approved to return home:
- Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement - Thursday, June 20 (Get updates on Facebook)
- Peerless Lake First Nation - Friday, June 21 (Get updates on Facebook)
- Indian Cabins - Friday, June 21
- Mackenzie County - Monday, June 24 (Get updates on Facebook)
- Beaver First Nation (Boyer River reserve and Child Lake reserve) - Tuesday, June 25
- Dene Tha' First Nation (Bushe River) - Tuesday, June 25
Re-entry packages can be downloaded from:
- Some services may be limited at first, but health care, police and other essential services are already in place
- Please respect any restricted areas and any directions given to you by first responders or utilities workers
- Fire ban and off-highway vehicle restrictions remain in effect for the High Level area.
- Do not allow anyone to enter or play in areas damaged by fire.
- If you smell gas, exit your home immediately and call the AltaGas Utilities 24-hour emergency line at 1-866-222-2068.
- Check for electrical hazards such as exposed wires. Avoid contact with damaged or fallen power lines and poles. Contact ATCO at 1-800-668-5506 (24-hours) if there are any hazards.
- Animals may have taken shelter in your home, garage or outbuildings. Leave a door open to allow animals to return on their own to their natural surroundings. Call a fish and wildlife officer at 1-800-642-3800 (24-hours) to assist with animals that appear injured or unwilling to leave.
While you were away, firefighters took actions to protect your home in case wildfire entered the community. You may notice:
- propane tanks and BBQs in your driveway – they were moved away from your home to make sure they didn’t ignite or explode
- outdoor furniture on your front lawn – items can catch flying embers and start fires on your decks and in your yards
- you can move your items back into your yards, but keep barbecues away from your house or from under trees – you can barbecue as usual
- coloured tape on your homes, door, trees or shrubs – these were used to alert officials of potential fire risks around your home
- leave the coloured tape on your property for now
- in the coming weeks and months, contact your local fire department or FireSmart Canada to get advice on how you can better fire proof your home
- sprinklers and water tanks positioned around town –please avoid them
- a protective wide dozer guard and fire break dug around the north and west sides of the town
Renovations and repairs
See information on hiring a contractor to help with renovations and repairs to your home or business following a disaster in your area.
Last updated: June 24 at noon
Offers for cleaning services
Door-to-door salespeople and contractors may offer cleaning services to residents returning to evacuated communities.
You should ensure anyone offering these services is qualified and has appropriate licensing and certifications.
- Before you allow someone in your home, get answers to all of your questions.
- Verify the identity of the salesperson and the information provided.
- Ask for a proof of business licence or official credentials.
- Contact the Central and Northern Alberta Better Business Bureau to check their reliability reports for information about a specific company’s complaint history.
- Remember that a qualified tradesperson will be able to show you a pocket ticket issued by Alberta Advanced Education.
- Don’t accept any verbal offers. Always insist on a written estimate and contract.
- Ensure your contract includes a formal payment schedule, with terms and conditions of any deposits, refunds, and cancellations.
- Don’t sign a contract you don’t understand.
- Report any suspicious activity to the Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088.
- Learn more about consumer protections and complaints.
Fridges and freezers
During the evacuation, High Level’s power supply was disrupted for about 36 hours. Some food might have spoiled in refrigerators and freezers.
- Throw out food that is not sealed in packages or cans. Green and black bins are placed around town – please use them for spoiled food for the first 5 days, these bins will be checked and emptied daily.
- Spoiled food products may have affected your refrigerator or freezer. Clean, sanitize and deodorize your refrigerator and freezer once you have discarded the spoiled food.
- Contact your insurance representative to discuss your coverage if you are considering discarding your fridge or freezer.
Regular pickup is not scheduled. Do not put general waste in your usual containers, instead use the green and black bins for the first 5 days.
- If you have any questions about garbage disposal, call 780-821-4012.
- If you see wild animals or bears, call a fish and wildlife officer at 1-800-642-3800.
- Wash interior walls and hard surfaced with a steam cleaner or white vinegar.
- Wash or dry clean clothing, linens and bedding.
- Wash all movable items with a steam cleaner or microfiber cloth – including children’s indoor toys.
- Consider having heating, ventilating and air conditioning units and all ductwork professionally cleaned to remove soot, ash and smoke residue.
- Keep all receipts for cleaning and other expenses to provide to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
- Pressure wash or scrub all exterior surfaces including walls, walks, drives, decks, windows and screens.
- Wash all children’s outside toys, play structures and recreational equipment to remove any residual smoke and ash. Replace the sand in sandboxes with clean sand.
- Cut down and remove any trees around your property that have been damaged by fire.
- Do not water your lawn immediately upon return to reduce pressure on the water system.
Last updated: June 5 at 4 pm
Check your gas, electricity and water to make sure they are working. Contact your utility providers if your need to restore service.
- If the electricity in your home is off, check your main electric panel and breaker.
- If you are unable to restore electricity to your home, call ATCO at 1-800-668-5506.
- Residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity customers will not be billed for their electricity during the mandatory evacuation period from Monday, May 20 to Monday, June 3, 2019.
- Natural gas should be on unless you turned it off before you left. If off, relight your appliances according to manufacturer’s instructions.
- Customers will not be billed for natural gas during the mandatory evacuation period from Monday, May 20 to Monday, June 3, 2019.
Residents of High Level can call AltaGas Utilities at 1-866-222-2068 for help relighting appliances.
Residents of Mackenzie County and Bushe River can call Northern Lights Gas Co-op at 780-928-3881 for assistance relighting appliances.
Water has been tested throughout High Level and is safe for drinking and household use.
- Run one of your taps for 1 to 3 minutes to refresh the taste of the water.
- Water restrictions are in place for the first week of re-entry. Do not water lawns or wash your vehicles.
- You can still hand-water outside plants and pots
- Check your water and sewer systems if you do not have piped water and sewer services.
Boil water advisory – Meander River
Residents of Meander River should bring water to a full boil for at least one minute and let cool before using for drinking, brushing teeth and washing or preparing food. Water does not need to be boiled for bathing or washing clothes.
Last updated: June 4 at 4:30 pm
Electricity and natural gas billing
High Level and area residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity and natural gas customers affected by the mandatory evacuation order will not be billed for the period covered by the order. The mandatory evacuation order started on Monday, May 20, 2019 and ended Monday, June 3, 2019.
Billing will resume after the order is lifted. Further information will also be available at that time.
Last updated: June 4 at 3:00 pm
Damage assessment and insurance information
If you are insured
- Assess and document the damage – taking photos can be helpful.
- Call your insurance representative and/or company.
- List all damaged or destroyed items.
- If possible, find proofs of purchase, photos, receipts and warranties. Take photos of the damage and keep the damaged items unless they pose a health hazard.
If you are not insured
For information on available assistance, contact:
- Government of Alberta: 310-4455
- Canadian Red Cross
Last updated: June 2 at noon
Financial, educational and social supports
Alberta residents affected by the northwest Alberta wildfires may be eligible for a one-time evacuation payment to help with immediate living costs, such as accommodation, food and gas. It is not intended to replace income.
Eligible families will receive:
- $1,250 for each adult
- $500 for each child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given
You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
- were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
- were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order
- paid for most of your costs to evacuate
You are not eligible if you:
- live in a community that was not affected by an evacuation order
- own property in the evacuated communities but were not living there when the evacuation was ordered
- evacuated from a community not under an evacuation order
- had your evacuation paid for by a government agency such as a supportive living facility like a seniors lodge, nursing home, extended care facility or temporary shelter
- had your evacuation paid for by your employer
Current eligible communities include:
- High Level
- Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement
- Bushe River
- Meander River
- Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
- Sandy Lake
- Chipewyan Lake Village
- Keg River
- Northern border of the County of Northern Lights to Township Road 922 (Notikewin Road)
- Steen River
- Trout Lake
- Blue Hills
- Tompkins Landing
- Mackenzie County
- La Crete
- Beaver First Nation Boyer River and Child’s Lake reserves
If you have not been evacuated from one of the communities listed above, check back for updates.
How to apply
Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smart phone, device or desktop.
- You need to create an email if you don’t have one.
- Apply for yourself and your children or other dependents.
- Provide a personal email address to receive the payment by Interac e-Transfer.
Step 1. Have identification ready
- Adults need an Alberta issued driver’s licence or identification or other photo ID.
- Children’s identification can include an Alberta Health number, passport, birth certificate or Alberta ID card.
- Proof of residence or presence in the community.
Step 2. Apply
- Use the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment online application.
- It will ask you to log into your MyAlberta Digital Identity (MADI) account. If you don’t have one, you can sign up through the application.
- Write down the reference number you get at the end of the application.
- You will see a message that says you will get a letter with a PIN number to complete your verification. You do not need to complete this step to receive your evacuation payment.
After you apply online
- After you submit your online application you will get an email confirming it has been received. (Make sure to check your inbox and junk folder.)
- Within a few hours, you will get another email with next steps instructions.
- If more information is needed, you will be asked to call Alberta Supports and visit the nearest centre.
If you have questions about your online application, contact Alberta Supports:
- Toll free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8 pm)
- In-person: Visit an Alberta Supports Centre
Apply in person at a designated distribution centre based on the area you were evacuated from.
If you’re from La Crete or other Mackenzie County communities previously evacuated, visit:
St Mary’s Elementary School
4611 River Road
Fort Vermilion, Alberta T0H 1N0
La Crete Public School
10001 99 Avenue
La Crete, Alberta T0H 2H0
Tuesday, June 25: noon to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, June 26: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, June 27: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you’re from Beaver First Nation Boyer River and Child’s Lake reserves, visit:
Alberta Supports Centre
202 Midtown Mall
5115 49 Street
Whitecourt, Alberta T7S 1N7
Tuesday, June 25 to Friday, June 28
8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
If you’re not in any of these areas, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest distribution centre:
- Toll free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8 pm)
- In-person: Visit an Alberta Supports Centre
Last update: June 24 at 10:45 pm
- Most home and tenant's insurance policies provide reasonable coverage for living expenses during an evacuation. Contact your insurance company for details.
- Keep all receipts for food, accommodation and other related living expenses to submit for possible reimbursement.
Insurance Bureau of Canada
- If you are unable to reach your insurance provider, contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada to help understand your fire insurance coverage and answer your questions
Last updated: May 29, 11am
Employment questions and insurance
- Evacuees can apply online for employment insurance using reference code: 4812014812201900.
- Visit Service Canada for more information.
If you have questions about your job, contact:
- Employment Standards Contact Centre: 1-877-427-3731
- OHS Contact Centre: 1-866-415-8690
- Temporary Foreign Worker Helpline:
- Alberta Labour and Immigration website
Last updated: June 2 at noon
Health services and hospital closures
- Health advice - Call Health Link at 811 or 1-866-408-LINK (5465) for info on health services.
- Mental health support
- Medication - Call Health Link at 811 or 1-866-408-5465 for prescription refills or visit your nearest pharmacy for assistance.
- Health cards - Replacement Health Care Insurance Cards are available at no cost, contact 780-427-1432 (for toll free, dial 310-0000 first). Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.
There are no hospital closures at this time.
If you are trying to locate a loved one, call Health Link at 811.
Last updated: June 25 at 12:30 pm
- Alberta Supports provides access over 120 government services, social benefits and community supports.
- Call 1-877-644-9992 , Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 8 pm.
AISH and Income Support programs
- Evacuees who receive benefits by cheque rather than direct deposit should contact your worker to make arrangements to receive your cheque.
- If you receive benefits by direct deposit, your payment will be deposited as usual.
Child intervention and child care
- Call 1-800-638-0715 for information.
- If you need human, financial or in-kind assistance to support persons with disabilities, contact the closest Alberta Supports Centre for assistance.
Last updated: June 12 at 4:30 pm
Replace ID cards
Driver's licence, ID cards and/or birth certificates
- Replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent. Find a location.
Health Care Insurance Card
- To get a free replacement card, call toll-free at 310-0000 followed by 780-427-1432 when prompted.
- Your new health card can be mailed to a temporary address.
Last updated: May 25 at 2:15pm
School closures and exams
All schools in the Fort Vermilion School Division will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Visit the Northland School Division website for updates.
- Grade 12 students in the Fort Vermilion School Division are exempt from their diploma exams. When a student is exempt from the diploma exam, their classroom mark will be their final mark.
- Students wishing to write their exams should contact the school division.
Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs)
- Students in grades 6 and 9 can be excused from writing provincial achievement tests.
- These students can still choose to write the PATs if they can safely make it to a school, either in their community or another.
- Once students and their families have made a decision, they should contact their school division.
Last updated: June 3 at 2:30 pm
Post-secondary and trades students
Evacuated apprentices or journeypersons with questions can call the Apprenticeship and Industry Training information line:
For questions about student loans, contact Alberta Student Aid:
Hours: Monday to Friday, 7:30 am to 8:30 pm
Last updated: May 27 at 3:30 pm
How to help
Offers, donations and volunteers
Thank you for your interest in supporting the wildfire response efforts.
Resource offers for Alberta disasters
Please complete the Unsolicited Offers Program Form if you’d like to offer the following resources:
- communications services or devices
- food and water
- equipment (generators, forklifts, lighting, signage, etc)
- human resources (volunteers, NGO, paid personnel, etc)
- lodging/facilities (hotels, community centres, churches, etc)
- materials and supplies (fuel, blankets, cots, pet supplies, etc)
- services (child care, consulting, pet care, etc)
- transport (passenger vans, buses, aircraft, etc)
All offers will be scanned twice daily and logged into our tracking database. You will be contacted by a Government of Alberta representative if there's an emergency requirement for your resource.
Other donation and volunteer opportunities
- Mackenzie County has an up-to-date list of donations needed. Visit their Facebook page for more information and drop off locations.
- Grande Prairie is accepting offers for donations. Sign up online to offer a donation.
- High Level is currently not accepting material donations or volunteers at this time.
Watch out for fraudulent organizations.
- There have been reports that local residents are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
- When asked for donations (either over-the-phone, through an e-mail, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
- If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization, including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta at 1-877-427-4088.
Last updated: June 17 at 3:30 pm
Advisories and closures
Fire ban and OHV restriction
- Visit albertafirebans.ca for details on fire bans and restrictions.
- Alberta Parks may also have fire bans and restrictions. Visit albertaparks.ca/firebans for details.
The boil water water advisory in Meander River is still active.
Rescinded boil water advisories
- North Tall Cree – rescinded May 31
- Little Red River Cree – rescinded May 31
- Fox Lake – rescinded on May 29
- John D’Or Prairie – rescinded on May 29
Last updated: June 5 at 10 am
- High Level Court matters have resumed.
- Community Corrections and Release have resumed operations in High Level.
- Fort Vermilion Court matters have resumed. Please call 780-926-3715 for inquiries.
- Wabasca Desmarais Court sittings have resumed.
- Chateh Court sittings resume July 2.
If you have an appointment with a probation officer in an evacuated area, report to the community corrections office nearest you. Please call 780-427-3109 (to call toll free, first dial 310-0000) for information.
Last updated: June 21 at 5pm
Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
Check the Canada Post website for updates.
Last updated: June 7 at 11:55am
Watch wildfire updates
There are no current news items available in this feed.
Current emergency alerts
- Foothills County
For help, call the Alberta government call centre at 310-4455.
Learn how you and your family can prepare for an emergency or disaster.
- Emergency preparedness
- Build a 72-hour emergency kit
- Make an emergency plan
- How to prepare for an evacuation order (PDF, 117 KB)
- Coping with emergencies (Alberta Health Services)
Due to hot and dry conditions, fire advisories, restrictions or bans have been issued in many regions of the province. Be prepared and take precautions.
- How to prepare for a wildfire
- Alberta Fire Bans
- Alberta Parks fire bans and restrictions
- Air quality advisories
- Camping and outdoor fire safety
Flood preparedness and recovery
Floods are the most frequent natural hazard in Canada. They can occur at any time of the year and are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snow melt or ice jams.