The McMillan wildfire began near the community of Wabasca on the afternoon of Saturday, May 18 at around 2 p.m. The wildfire originated at approximately kilometre 40 on Highway 754, northeast of Slave Lake. It grew to be more than 273,000 hectares in size and threatened several communities, leading to the evacuation of Wabasca, and Peerless Trout First Nation. Wildland firefighters were able to bring the fire under control on July 1.
Alberta Wildfire investigators along with the RCMP Forestry Crimes Unit, have determined the wildfire started as a result of arson.
Members of the public with information regarding the details of this wildfire or other fires in the area are encouraged to call toll free at 1-833-999-FIRE (3473). A reward may be given for information leading to an arrest.
“The safety of Albertans is our top priority in fighting wildfires. To the families affected by this wildfire who were evacuated, and to the forest industry who suffered losses, we will find the person responsible for the McMillian wildfire. This is an important step in helping to build trust in Alberta’s justice system.”
Since March 1, 2019, the province has recorded 982 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta that have burned a total of 883,412 hectares.