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Final Update 39: 2016 Wildfires (June 10 at 4:30 p.m.)

This is the final update. See Wood Buffalo Recovery Updates for more information.

Current situation

  • There was minimal growth in the Rural Municipality of Wood Buffalo wildfire yesterday, and the fire is nearly 73 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 589,995 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 996 kilometres.
  • Crews have completed more than 535 kilometres of dozer guard.
  • Fire risk throughout the province has stabilized and now ranges from low to moderate with some extreme conditions in northern Alberta.
  • There are 17 active wildfires in Alberta, with only the RMWB fire out of control.
  • There are approximately 1,572 firefighters and support staff, 60 helicopters, 19 tankers and 37 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.
  • Hotspots are being managed in the Fort McMurray area. Anyone with information about new wildfires should call 1-866-394-3473. Reports of structural fires should be made to 911.
  • Weather forecast for the Fort McMurray area today: Approximately 22 C, 75 per cent relative humidity with winds from the north-northeast at 15 km/h.
  • Fire crews need safe access to air space. Drones or other airborne devices may not be flown without the approval of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre. Please see Transportation Canada for more information https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/prairieandnorthern/menu.htm
  • During the 17 telephone town halls, 161,426 individuals participated online or over the phone. (Individuals who participated in multiple calls were counted as a participant each time.)
  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, 45,268 people have visited information centres.

Update to provincial services in Fort McMurray

  • All existing information centres and wildfire relief debit card pickup locations will close, effective Monday, June 13.
  • A new information centre will open in the Future Forward Building (9717 Franklin Avenue) to support long-term information needs beginning Monday, June 13; it will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Wildfire relief funding debit cards will be available at the Alberta Works Centre inside the Fort McMurray Provincial Building (9915 Franklin Ave) as of Monday, June 13, between 8:15 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Debit cards will be available at Fort McMurray Composite High School until 8 p.m. on Sunday, June 12.
  • The Provincial Building will re-open on Monday, June 13, with many services restored. These include the Alberta Works Centre, Apprenticeship and Industry Training Offices, and the Northern Alberta Development Council.
    • Some services delivered at the Provincial Building may still be affected by staffing limitations; please contact specific offices for details before visiting.
    • Alberta Parks offices will not re-open on June 13.
  • The Community Corrections office has resumed operations. Individuals can call 780-743-7190 to make a report or get instructions. To call toll-free, dial 310-0000 first.
  • The Fish and Wildlife District Office has resumed operations and can be contacted by calling 780 743-7200.
  • Provincial Court will re-open on Monday, June 20.
  • The Oil Sands Discovery Centre will re-open on Friday, July 1.
  • Alberta Health Services will bring additional services online over the coming days:
    • The Northern Lights Regional Health Centre will begin providing medical & surgical in-patient, ICU, OR, obstetrical, pediatric and in-patient psychiatric services on Monday, June 13. At this point, all core services will be offered, with full service scheduled to be restored by June 21.
    • The Fort McMurray Urgent Care Centre will transition into a Fort McMurray Medical Clinic on Saturday, June 11 at 8 a.m. to providing primary care and family medicine as well as home-care services. The clinic will be located at the Keyano Syncrude Sports & Wellness Centre (9908 Penhorwood Street), operating from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The clinic will stay open until at least June 30.
    • Public Health services will move back to the Fort McMurray Community Health Services building (113 Thickwood Blvd), Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A detailed list of services is available at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/page13198.aspx.
    • Addiction and mental-health services will relocate to the Fort McMurray Queen Street Building (10217 Queen Street) on June 10. Services will be available Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    • Please see www.ahs.ca/wildfire for the most up-to-date information.
  • As of Friday, June 10, the Fort McMurray International Airport is open for limited commercial travel.
  • The Canadian Red Cross will open an office in Fort McMurray at 9816 Hardin Street on Monday, June 13. Office hours will be Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Information for NGOs and businesses offering support

Health information

  • A boil-water advisory remains in effect for all areas of Fort McMurray other than the Lower Townsite and Grayling Terrace. More information is available here:  http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/Page13221.aspx
  • Residents with the following medical issues should not return until the hospital is fully operational:
    • those with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma;
    • those who require regular primary care, home care or specialized treatment such as dialysis or cancer;
    • those who were recently discharged from hospital or who have had a transplant; and
    • women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant or who have a high-risk pregnancy.
  • Community addiction and mental-health crisis teams are available at the hospital. Counselling for addiction and mental health, including walk-in appointments, is available at the Syncrude Sports and Wellness Centre. Residents can also call the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642

A roving community wellness team is providing mental-health support. Staff are available from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. and are on call overnight. They can be reached by calling 780-370-0182 or 780-792-6378 or HealthLink at 811. 

Backgrounder

Previous Updates

Wildfire Update 38: June 9 at 3:30 p.m.

  • There was minimal growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday, and the fire is nearly 71 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 586,707 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 1006 kilometres.
  • Crews have completed more than 535 kilometres of dozer guard.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 20 active wildfires in Alberta, with only the Fort McMurray fire out of control.
  • There are approximately 2,489 firefighters and support staff, 130 helicopters, 16 tankers and 213 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.
  • Hotspots are being managed in the Fort McMurray area. Anyone with information about new wildfires should call 1-866-394-3473. Reports of structural fires should be made to 911.
  • Weather forecast for the Fort McMurray area today: Approximately 15 C, 80 per cent relative humidity with winds from the east at 20 km/h, gusting up to 60 km/h.
  • Fire crews need safe access to air space. Drones or other airborne devices may not be flown without the approval of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre.
  • During the 17 telephone town halls, 161,426 individuals participated online or over the phone. (Individuals who participated in multiple calls were counted as a participant each time.)
  • Since voluntary re-entry began on June 1, 45,056 people have visited information centres.

Wildfire Update 37: June 8 at 5:15 p.m.

  • There was slight growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday, but the fire remains nearly 70 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,956 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 987 kilometres.
  • Crews have completed about 535 kilometres of dozer guard.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,794 firefighters and support staff, 147 helicopters, 16 tankers and 233 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province.
  • There are 28 active wildfires in Alberta, with eight out of control.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.
  • Hotspots are being managed in the Fort McMurray area. Anyone with information about new wildfires should call 1-866-394-3473. Reports of structural fires should be made to 911.
  • Weather forecast for the Fort McMurray area today: Approximately 24 C, 35 per cent humidity with northeast winds at 20 km/h, gusting up to 35 km/h.
  • Fire crews need safe access to air space. Drones or other airborne devices may not be flown without the approval of the Regional Emergency Operations Centre.

Wildfire Update 36: June 7 at 12:15 p.m.

  • There was no significant growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday, and the fire is now nearly 70 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,586 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Crews have completed about 442 kilometres of dozer guard.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,794 firefighters and support staff, 147 helicopters, 16 tankers and 233 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province.
  • There are 23 active wildfires in Alberta, with five out of control (one in Fort McMurray, three in the Slave Lake area and one in the Lac La Biche area, with no threats to municipalities).
  • Wildfire crews from around the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa and 41 from Mexico.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region, including mobile air monitoring. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.
  • Hotspots are being managed in the Fort McMurray area. Anyone with information about new wildfires should call 1-866-394-3473. Reports of structural fires should be made to 911.

Wildfire Update 35: June 6 at 4:30 p.m.

  • There was no significant growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday and the fire is now nearly 70 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,804 firefighters and support staff, 99 helicopters and 236 pieces of heavy equipment battling fires across the province, with an estimate of about 442 kilometres of dozer guard completed.
  • There are 10 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control (Fort McMurray).
  • Alberta Forestry is providing assistance with a wildfire in Thorhild County.
  • Wildfire crews from around the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa and 41 from Mexico.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.
  • A telephone town hall will be held this evening from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Wildfire Update 34: June 5 at 3 p.m.

  • There was no significant growth in the Fort McMurray wildfire yesterday, and the fire is now nearly 58 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,705 firefighters and support staff, 94 helicopters and 236 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire, with an estimate of about 442 kilometres of dozer guard completed.
  • There are 12 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control (Fort McMurray).
  • Wildfire crews from around the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa and 41 from Mexico.
  • Environmental monitoring continues in the Fort McMurray region. Results of environmental testing data are now available online.

Wildfire Update 33: June 4 at 4:45 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control, with minimal growth yesterday, and is nearly 56 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,146 firefighters and support staff, 80 helicopters and 219 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire, with an estimate of about 460 kilometres of fire guard completed.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 12 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • Wildfire crews from around the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa.
  • Results of environmental testing data for Fort McMurray is now available online.

Wildfire Update 32: June 3 at 2 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control, with minimal growth yesterday, and is nearly 56 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,146 firefighters and support staff, 80 helicopters and 219 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire, with an estimate of about 460 kilometres of fire guard completed.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 12 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • Wildfire crews from around the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa.
  • Results of environmental testing data for Fort McMurray is now available online.

Wildfire Update 31: June 2 at 7 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control but it has not seen any significant growth over the past 48 hours and is nearly 50 per cent contained. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a new perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,520 firefighters and support staff, 99 helicopters and 226 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire, with an estimate of about 420 kilometres of fire guard completed.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 13 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa.

Wildfire Update 30: June 1 at 6:45 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a new perimeter estimate of 984 kilometres. There was minimal fire growth yesterday.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,472 firefighters and support staff, 99 helicopters and 287 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire, with an estimate of about 400 kilometres of fire guard completed.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 13 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa.

Wildfire Update 29: May 31 at 8:15 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 581,695 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side, with a new perimeter estimate of 967 kilometres. There was minimal fire growth yesterday.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • There are 2,360 firefighters and support staff, 96 helicopters, 279 pieces of heavy equipment battling this fire with a new estimate of 430 kilometres of fire guard completed.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 16 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are supporting Alberta’s efforts, including 299 firefighters from South Africa who are expected to be on the ground tomorrow.

Wildfire Update 28: May 29 at 2 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 579,946 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • As of 9 a.m., there were 14 active wildfires in Alberta, with one (Fort McMurray) out of control.
  • There are 2,292 firefighters, 90 helicopters, 273 pieces of heavy equipment and 20 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are supporting - or are en route to support - the efforts in Alberta, including:
    • 298 firefighters from South Africa
    • 199 firefighters from the United States
    • 113 firefighters from British Columbia
    • 84 firefighters from Ontario
    • 48 firefighters from Northwest Territories
    • 29 firefighters from Parks Canada
    • One firefighter from CIFFC
    • Seven firefighters from New Brunswick
    • 34 firefighters from Saskatchewan
    • Two firefighters from Manitoba
    • 19 firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island
  • With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.

Wildfire Update 27: May 28 at 2 p.m.

  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 580,663 hectares, including the Saskatchewan side.
  • Extreme burning conditions still exist for some areas of the fire.
  • As of 7 a.m., there were 17 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.
  • There are 2,267 firefighters, 95 helicopters, 263 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are currently supporting - or en route to support - the efforts in Alberta, including:
    • 298 firefighters from South Africa
    • 199 firefighters from the United States
    • 113 firefighters from British Columbia
    • 85 firefighters from Ontario
    • 52 firefighters from Northwest Territories
    • 28 firefighters from Parks Canada
    • Seven firefighters from New Brunswick
    • 34 firefighters from Saskatchewan
    • Two firefighters from Manitoba
    • 19 firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island
  • With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.

Wildfire Update 26: May 27 at 3:15 p.m.

  • Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 576,781 hectares in Alberta and about 3,200 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • As of 7 a.m., there were 20 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.
  • The fire in the Peace River area is now under control.
  • There are 2,309 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 261 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are currently supporting - or en route to support - the efforts in Alberta, including:
    • 298 firefighters from South Africa
    • 198 firefighters from the United States
    • 111 firefighters from British Columbia
    • 85 firefighters from Ontario
    • 30 firefighters from Northwest Territories
    • 28 firefighters from Parks Canada
    • Seven firefighters from New Brunswick
    • Eight firefighters from Saskatchewan
    • Two firefighters from Manitoba
    • Three firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island
    • Three firefighters from Nova Scotia
  • With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.

Wildfire Update 25: May 26 at 1:20 p.m.

  • Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover more than 566,188 hectares in Alberta and about 3,200 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • As of 7 a.m., there were 20 active wildfires in Alberta, with one out of control.
  • There are 2,062 firefighters, 105 helicopters, 258 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 air tankers currently battling the fires across Alberta.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are currently supporting - or en route to support - the efforts in Alberta, including:
    • 280 firefighters from South Africa
    • 200 firefighters from the United States
    • 113 firefighters from British Columbia
    • 85 firefighters from Ontario
    • 44 firefighters from Quebec
    • 30 firefighters from Northwest Territories
    • 22 firefighters from New Brunswick
    • Eight firefighters from Parks Canada
    • Six firefighters from Saskatchewan
    • Three firefighters from Newfoundland/Prince Edward Island
    • Three firefighters from Nova Scotia
  • With higher humidity in the forecast and the potential for showers, it is expected that firefighting conditions will improve through the weekend.
  • ATCO has released a utility restoration map regarding the status of electricity and natural gas services for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo: http://www.atcoresponds.com

Wildfire Update 24: May 25 at 4:30 p.m.

  • Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 566,188 hectares, including 4,600 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • A total of 15 wildfires are burning. Only the Fort McMurray fire remains out of control.
  • Firefighters are conducting controlled burns in the Fort McMurray region to remove flammable debris and limit potential flare-ups later. None is expected to affect traffic flow today.
  • There are 2,054 firefighters, 88 helicopters, 256 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • Wildfire crews from across the world are supporting the efforts in Alberta, including:
    • 280 firefighters from South Africa
    • 200 firefighters from the United States
    • 85 firefighters from Ontario
    • 44 firefighters from Quebec
    • 22 firefighters from New Brunswick
    • 30 firefighters from Northwest Territories
    • Six firefighters from Saskatchewan
    • Three firefighters from Newfoundland
    • Eight firefighters from Parks Canada
    • Three firefighters from Nova Scotia
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • ATCO has released a utility restoration map regarding the status of electricity and natural gas services for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo: http://www.atcoresponds.com
  • Fire ban and OHV restrictions no longer in effect in portions of the Lac La Biche area south of Fort McMurray.
  • A fire ban, random camping ban and OHV restriction remain in effect for the Fort McMurray forest area in northeastern Alberta.

Wildfire Update 23: May 24 at 2:30 p.m.

  • Fire conditions are high to extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 522,892 hectares, including 2,496 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • A total of 17 wildfires are burning. Only the Fort McMurray fire remains out of control.
  • The wildfire west of Janvier is now classified as under control.
  • There are 1,989 firefighters, 88 helicopters, 253 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • ATCO has released a utility restoration map regarding the status of electricity and natural gas services in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo: atcoresponds.com

Wildfire Update 22: May 23 at 3:45 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 522,892 hectares, including 2,496 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • A total of 16 wildfires are burning, with one out of control.
  • A fire estimated at 146 hectares in size, and located eight kilometres west of Janvier, is being held. No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
  • There are 1,934 firefighters, 102 helicopters, 255 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO employees are on the ground restoring critical utility infrastructure. Gas service has been restored to about 90 per cent of undamaged structures in Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of undamaged structures in the community. 
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • The phased re-entry for all oil sands camps in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is underway.

Wildfire Update 21: May 22 at 3 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 522,892 hectares, including 741 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • A total of 18 wildfires are burning, with one out of control.
  • A fire estimated at 146 hectares in size, and located eight kilometres west of Janvier, is being held. No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
  • There are 1,880 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 295 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO employees are on the ground restoring critical utility infrastructure. Gas service has been restored to about 90 per cent of undamaged structures in Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of undamaged structures in the community.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and some camps north of Fort McMurray remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • A mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for seven industry sites:
    • Millennium Lodge
    • Borealis Lodge
    • Hudson Lodge
    • Noralta Lodge
    • Ruth Lake Lodge
    • Suncor Base Plant (including ATT)
    • Syncrude Mildred Lake Plant

Wildfire Update 20: May 21 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 504,443 hectares, including 741 hectares in Saskatchewan.
  • A total of 17 wildfires are burning, with two out of control.
  • A fire estimated at 146 hectares in size, and located eight kilometres west of Janvier, remains out of control. No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
  • There are 1,860 firefighters, 189 helicopters, 306 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO employees are on the ground restoring critical utility infrastructure. Gas service has been restored to about 75 per cent of undamaged structures in Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of undamaged structures in the community. 
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and some camps north of Fort McMurray remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • A mandatory evacuation order has been lifted for seven industry sites:
    • Millennium Lodge
    • Borealis Lodge
    • Hudson Lodge
    • Noralta Lodge
    • Ruth Lake Lodge
    • Suncor Base Plant (including ATT)
    • Syncrude Mildred Lake Plant
    The two-hour evacuation notice for residents in the Municipal District of Greenview, south of the Hamlet of Little Smoky and north of Fox Creek, has been lifted. The fire now covers 660 hectares and is being held.

Wildfire Update 19: May 20 at 3:15 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 503,674 hectares.
  • A total of 17 wildfires are burning, with two out of control.
  • A fire estimated at 130 hectares in size and located eight kilometres west of Janvier is not under control. No evacuations have been ordered at this time.
  • There are 2,011 firefighters, 189 helicopters, 344 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO employees are on the ground restoring critical utility infrastructure. Gas service has been restored to about 75 per cent of undamaged structures in Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of undamaged structures in the community. 
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation, Fort McKay First Nation and some camps north of Fort McMurray remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • The two-hour evacuation notice for residents in the Municipal District of Greenview, south of the Hamlet of Little Smoky and north of Fox Creek, has been lifted. The fire now covers 660 hectares and is being held.

Wildfire Update 18: May 19 at 2 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 505,645 hectares.
  • There were three new fire starts over the past 24 hours. A total of 16 wildfires are burning, with two out of control.
  • A new fire estimated at 130 hectares in size and located eight kilometres west of Janvier is out of control. No evacuations have been ordered.
  • There are 2,423 firefighters, 189 helicopters, 439 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO employees are on the ground restoring critical utility infrastructure. Gas service has been restored to about 75 per cent of Fort McMurray. Electricity has been restored to more than 90 per cent of the community. 
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and 19 camps north of Fort McMurray remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Fort McKay First Nation remains under a mandatory evacuation order. 
  • Athabasca Camp and the Beaver River Camp are under a recommended evacuation order.
  • The two-hour evacuation notice for residents in the Municipal District of Greenview, south of the Hamlet of Little Smoky and north of Fox Creek, has been lifted. The fire now covers 660 hectares and is being held. 

Wildfire Update 17: May 17 at 2:30 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 355,000 hectares.
  • There were five new fire starts over the past 24 hours. A total of 17 wildfires are burning, with four out of control.
  • There are 1,754 firefighters, 208 helicopters, 412 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO has restored gas services to about 60 per cent of Fort McMurray.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Camps and facilities south of Fort McKay are under a mandatory evacuation order. Last night, approximately 8,000 non-essential staff were evacuated from more than a dozen camps.  
  • Fort McKay First Nation, Athabasca Camp and the Beaver River Camp are under a recommended evacuation order.
  • Highway 63 from the Parson’s Creek interchange to the Suncor interchange is closed north and southbound. There is no public access to the city at this time.
  • Residents in the Municipal District of Greenview, south of the Hamlet of Little Smoky and north of Fox Creek, are able to return to their homes, but remain on a two-hour evacuation notice. The fire is approximately 900 hectares in size.
  • The Peace River fire currently covers roughly 17,000 hectares.

Wildfire Update 16: May 16 at 1:45 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A fire started yesterday in the Municipal District of Greenview, south of the Hamlet of Little Smoky and north of Fox Creek. The fire is approximately 800 hectares in size. A mandatory evacuation notice and State of Local Emergency have been issued. Both sides of Highway 43 were evacuated from Township Roads 650 to 664 and Range Roads 215 to 210. A reception centre has been established at the Paradise Inn in Valleyview (3609 Highway St, Valleyview). 
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 284,214 hectares.
  • There were four new fire starts over the past 24 hours. A total of 15 wildfires are burning, with three out of control.
  • There are 1,919 firefighters, 161 helicopters, 377 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO has more than 300 employees on the ground in Fort McMurray restoring critical utility infrastructure and temporary housing.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order. Fort McKay First Nation is under a recommended evacuation order.
  • The temperature forecast for today is 25 C with a relative humidity of 15.
  • Temperatures are forecast in the high 20s for the next few days, with winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour out of the south.

Wildfire Update 15: May 15 at 5:45 p.m.

  • The fire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 251,000 hectares.
  • In order to reduce fuel buildup and prevent the spread of wildfires, fire operations in the form of a back burn are occurring along the west side of Highway 63. This is happening about 50 kilometres north of Mariana Lake to the Highway 881/63 junction.
  • There were nine new fire starts over the past 24 hours. A total of 15 wildfires are burning, with two out of control.
  • There are 2,277 firefighters, 147 helicopters, 280 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO has about 300 workers in Fort McMurray, including teams of water specialists working with the municipality’s water experts to assess damage.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order. Fort McKay First Nation is under a recommended evacuation order.

Wildfire Update 14: May 13 at 7 p.m.

  • There was no significant fire growth yesterday.
  • In order to reduce fuel buildup and prevent the spread of wildfires, fire operations in the form of a back burn are occurring along the west side of Highway 63. This is happening about 50 kilometres north of Mariana Lake to the Highway 881/63 junction.
  • There were four new fire starts overnight. A total of 17 wildfires are burning: one out of control, two being held, eight under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • There are 1,714 firefighters, 123 helicopters, 226 pieces of heavy equipment and 26 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • ATCO has about 300 workers in Fort McMurray, including teams of water specialists working with the municipality’s water experts to assess damage.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order. Fort McKay First Nation is under a recommended evacuation order.

Wildfire Update 13: May 12 at 1:30 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A total of 17 wildfires are burning: one out of control, one being held, nine under control and six turned over to the responsible parties. There were four new fire starts overnight.
  • There  are 1,733 firefighters, 104 helicopters, 154 pieces of heavy equipment and 26 air tankers currently battling the fires.
  • The Fort McMurray wildfire is now approximately 241,000 hectares.
  • There are 509 wildland firefighters, 31 helicopters and 13 air tankers working on the Fort McMurray fire.
  • The wildfire is approximately 13 kilometres from the Saskatchewan boundary.
  • Flare-ups have occurred near Anzac and MacDonald Island Park.
  • New distribution centre added at NAIT.

Wildfire Update 12: May 11 at 6 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A total of 19 wildfires are burning: two out of control, one being held, 10 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties. There was one new start today.
  • Currently, there are 1,715 firefighters, 101 helicopters, 154 pieces of heavy equipment and 26 air tankers battling the fires.
  • Two fires in the Fort McMurray area have joined. The Fort McMurray wildfire is now approximately 229,000 hectares.
  • There are 700 firefighters, 32 helicopters, 13 air tankers available and 83 pieces of heavy equipment units working on the Fort McMurray fire.
  • The wildfire is approximately 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan boundary.

Wildfire Update 11: May 10 at 6:20 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A total of 25 wildfires are burning: one out of control, one being held, 17 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties. There were two new starts yesterday.
  • Currently there are 1,547 firefighters, 121 helicopters, 194 pieces of heavy equipment, and 28 air tankers battling the fires.
  • Two fires in the Fort McMurray area have joined. The Fort McMurray wildfire is now approximately 229,000 hectares.
  • There are 700 firefighters, 26 helicopters, 13 air tankers available and 46 pieces of heavy equipment units working on the Fort McMurray fire.
  • The wildfire is approximately 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan border.

Wildfire Update 10: May 10 at 11:30 a.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A total of 25 wildfires are burning: one out of control, one being held, 17 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties. There were two new starts yesterday.
  • There are 1,547 firefighters, 121 helicopters, 194 pieces of heavy equipment and 28 air tankers battling the fires.
  • Two fires in the Fort McMurray area have joined. The Fort McMurray wildfire is now roughly 229,000 hectares.
  • There are 700 firefighters, 26 helicopters, 13 air tankers and 46 pieces of heavy equipment units working on the Fort McMurray fire.
  • The wildfire is approximately 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan boundary.

Wildfire Update 9: May 9 at 7:16 p.m.

  • Fire conditions remain extreme in the province.
  • A total of 29 wildfires are burning, with two out of control, one being held, 21 under control and five turned over to the responsible parties.
  • Currently there are 1,547 firefighters; 121 helicopters; 194 pieces of heavy equipment; and 28 air tankers battling the fires.
  • Fort McMurray wildfire is currently approximately 204,000 hectares and is anticipated to grow by Tuesday.
  • The wildfire is approximately 25 to 30 kilometres from the Saskatchewan boundary.
  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.
  • AHS has health care teams at several evacuation/reception centres call Health Link Toll-free by dialing 811 or the Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642.
  • Several people are experiencing symptoms consistent with viral gastroenteritis at the Northlands reception centre and Lister Hall transitional shelter.
  • Alberta Health Services has Public Health and Infection Prevention and Control staff at the locations to manage the increased numbers of ill people and to prevent spread.
  • The urban Fort McMurray area remains under a mandatory evacuation order. The communities of Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation are included.
  • The 25,000 evacuees north of Fort McMurray are now safely south of the city. They made their way via ground and air transport.
  • Although no further vehicles are assembled for convoy, the service will continue as needed.
  • There are currently 13 reception centres operating within the province. Additional details are available on the Alberta government emergency updates website: www.alberta.ca/emergency.
  • Preliminary re-entry planning is underway; a schedule for re-entry is expected within two weeks.
  • Albertans can stay up-to-date on wildfire-related information by calling 310-4455 in Alberta; 1-844-406-3276, and on the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.

Wildfire Update 8: May 8 at 4:15 p.m.

  • Currently there are more than 500 firefighters battling the blaze in and around Fort McMurray, along with 15 helicopters, 14 air tankers and 88 other pieces of equipment.
  • Yesterday’s plan to evacuate 25,000 residents who fled north of Fort McMurray was a success. As of 10:00am, no evacuees have been reported remaining in camps to the north.
  • 300 people from Fort McKay were evacuated to the Edmonton area by air and ground. This was a precautionary evacuation due to heavy smoke in the area.
  • 1,500 employees at the Syncrude facility were evacuated on May 7 and the facility was shut down. Groups of employees have also been evacuated from the Suncor, Husky, Shell and CNRL facilities. Many of these facilities are still operating.
  • 250 ATCO employees are in Fort McMurray working to restore the power grid and assess the gas infrastructure.
  • Alberta Agriculture and Forestry are working closely with the RCMP and SPCA in Fort McMurray to address reports from evacuees asking for help with dogs, cats and other pets left behind during the emergency evacuation. The SPCA is requesting that those with pets left behind register them online at http://asset.rmwb.ca/pet-rescue/
  • The wildfire is currently 161,000 hectares and is anticipated to grow overnight.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with four new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 34 wildfires are burning, with five out of control, 23 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • More than 1,500 firefighters, approximately 150 helicopters, 222 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 28 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Temperature forecast for Sunday is 18°C with winds gusting up to 50 kilometres per hour. There is the potential for showers in the Fort McMurray area.

Wildfire Update 7: May 7 at 8 p.m.

  • The wildfire will cover more than 200,000 hectares by midnight and will continue to grow.
  • Convoys of evacuee vehicles began at 6 a.m. this morning and are expected to finish by the end of the day. Traffic is flowing south on Highway 63 from the Parsons Creek Interchange under RCMP control. As many as 2,400 vehicles were able to travel safely in convoys through to south of Fort McMurray yesterday.
  • Convoys of 30 trucks carrying essential equipment to support critical industrial services began today from a staging area 12 kilometres south of Fort McMurray to north of Fort McMurray and will provide supplies and support for various industrial facilities.
  • There are more than 500 firefighters battling the blaze in and around Fort McMurray, along with 15 helicopters, 14 air tankers and 88 other pieces of equipment.
  • Preliminary re-entry planning is underway, including preparing for co-ordinated damage assessments and ensuring that vital emergency services and utilities are back online and operating safely. It’s important to note, there is no date for re-entry yet.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 12 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 43 wildfires are burning, with seven out of control, one being held, 29 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • A fire from British Columbia is encroaching on the boundary and we’ve begun attacking it from the Alberta side, working with B.C. firefighters. The fire was located 108 kilometres northwest of Fairview. Another fire, north of Red Earth, is 25 per cent contained. Neither is threatening any communities.
  • The temperature forecast for Sunday is 15C with winds gusting up to 60 kilometres per hour. There is the potential for showers in the Fort McMurray area.
  • More than 1,400 firefighters, about 133 helicopters, 200 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 27 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.

Wildfire Update 6: May 7 at 11:45 a.m.

  • The wildfire covers more than 156,000 hectares and is expected to grow today.
  • Convoys of evacuee vehicles began at 6 a.m. today and are expected to be finished by the end of the day. Traffic is flowing s outh on Highway 63 from the Parsons Creek Interchange under RCMP control. As many as 2,400 vehicles were able to move safely through to south of Fort McMurray yesterday.
  • Also beginning today, convoys of about 30 trucks carrying essential equipment to support critical industrial services will begin moving from their staging area 12 kilometres south of Fort McMurray and will travel to north of Fort McMurray. They will provide supplies and support for various industrial facilities.
  • More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze in and around Fort McMurray, along with 15 helicopters, 14 air tankers and 88 other pieces of equipment.
     

Wildfire Update 5: May 6 at 7 p.m.

  • People who have been displaced will be provided with $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependant in emergency financial assistance. This will probably be provided in the form of pre-loaded debit cards. Details on when this assistance will be available and how to get access to it will be announced by May 11, 2016.  Government of Alberta offices will not have additional information until that time. When details are available they will be posted on emergency.alberta.ca and available through 310-4455. In order to allow for immediate distribution to people most urgently in need of this assistance, we are asking evacuees who are not in dire need of these funds not to claim them immediately.

  • The Disaster Recovery Program (DRP) will allocate an initial $200 million for emergency costs. Disaster recovery programs provide financial assistance for municipalities and their citizens who incur uninsurable loss and damage as a result of a disastrous event. This amount was already included in Budget 2016 to cover emergency events. 

  • The Wood Buffalo Ministerial Recovery Task Force has been established to:

    • ensure safety and security in the affected areas;

    • support the needs of the communities;

    • plan the timely re-entry of residents when it is safe to do so; and

    • support the resumption of municipal, economic and business activities.    

  • Convoys of vehicles were temporarily halted at about 1 p.m. today due to wildfire smoke on Highway 63 south of Fort McMurray. They resumed about an hour later. Traffic is flowing south on Highway 63 from the Parsons Creek Interchange under RCMP control.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 12 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 40 wildfires are burning, with five out of control, eight being held, 21 under control and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • A provincewide ban on the use of off-highway vehicles, due to the risk these vehicles pose in the very dry conditions Alberta is experiencing, is in effect.
  • A provincial fire ban remains in effect across Alberta. All fire permits are suspended and no new permits will be issued. All open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are prohibited.
  • Temperatures in the high teens and winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour will make firefighting challenging.
  • More than 1,200 firefighters, approximately 110 helicopters, 295 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 27 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Albertans can stay up-to-date on wildfire-related information by calling 310-4455 in Alberta; 1-844-406-3276, and on the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.

 

Wildfire Update 4: May 6 at 12:30 p.m.

  • The Government of Alberta will provide emergency financial assistance of $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependant to help meet immediate needs.
  • Ground evacuations of people north of Fort McMurray began today, and will continue during daylight hours as weather and fire conditions permit. Vehicles are permitted to travel south on Highway 63 towards Edmonton or alternative accommodation.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 12 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 40 wildfires are burning, with five out of control, eight being held, 21 under control, and six turned over to the responsible parties.
  • A provincial fire ban is in effect across Alberta. All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued. All open fires, including campfires and charcoal briquettes, are prohibited.
  • Temperatures in the high teens and winds gusting up to 40 kilometres per hour will make firefighting challenging.
  • More than 1,200 firefighters, approximately 110 helicopters, 295 pieces of heavy equipment and more than 27 air tankers are fighting the fires across the province.
  • Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation remain under a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Albertans can call 310-4455 for information and stay up to date on the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.

Wildfire Update 3: May 5 at 6 p.m.

  • A provincially declared state of emergency for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is in effect.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 18 new starts across Alberta yesterday. A total of 49 wildfires are burning, with seven considered out of control, 12 being held, 23 under control, and seven turned over to the responsible parties.
  • Cooler temperatures of 16 C are predicted, but lower humidity and winds at 25 kilometres, gusting to 40 kilometres per hour, make weather a significant factor.
  • More than 1,110 firefighters, 145 helicopters, 138 pieces of heavy equipment and 22 air tankers are fighting the fires.
  • Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Mackenzie County near High Level. Residents of evacuated areas should not attempt to return home.
  • Emergency gas and diesel are temporarily available along Highway 63.
  • Albertans can call 310-4455 for information and stay up to date on the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.

Wildfire Update 2: May 5 at 10 a.m.

  • A provincially declared state of emergency for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo is in effect.
  • Fire conditions remain extreme, with 18 new starts yesterday. A total of 49 wildfires are burning, with seven considered out of control, 12 being held, 23 under control, and seven turned over to the responsible parties.
  • Cooler temperatures of 16 C are predicted, but lower humidity and winds at 25 kilometres, gusting to 40 kilometres per hour, make weather a significant factor.
  • More than 1,110 firefighters, 145 helicopters, 138 pieces of heavy equipment and 22 air tankers are fighting the fires.
  • Mandatory evacuation orders are in place for Fort McMurray, Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray First Nation and Mackenzie County near High Level. Residents of evacuated areas should not attempt to return home.
  • Emergency gas and diesel are temporarily available along Highway 63.
  • Albertans can call 310-4455 for information and stay up to date on the Alberta Emergency Alert and Alberta Wildfire apps.

Wildfire Update 1: May 4 at 3:30 p.m.

  • The Alberta government has declared a provincial state of emergency.
  • The mandatory evacuation order remains in effect and affects approximately 80,000 people. Residents should not attempt to return home.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with the Canadian Forces for air support to assist with transportation as needed.
  • More than 250 firefighters, helicopters and air tankers are currently fighting this fire.
  • The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation have both declared a State of Local Emergency.
  • Alberta Transportation is escorting a fuel tanker along Highway 63 to assist stranded motorists. Please stay with your vehicle unless your situation requires you to leave.
  • Since April 1, there have been 329 wildfires in the province. All but two have been contained.

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