Wildfires in the Northwest Territories have forced the evacuation of about 20,000 residents. Alberta’s government has been in close contact with officials from the Northwest Territories throughout these evacuations to ensure evacuees have the supports they need during this difficult time. During emergency management events, emergency management mutual aid agreements that outline supports between governments are common practice between provinces, territories and the federal government.
“Albertans understand all too well how challenging and stressful it is to be evacuated from their homes due to wildfires, which is why we’re stepping up to help. I want to reassure evacuees coming to Alberta that we are doing everything we can to make sure they have the supports they need.”
“Alberta stands ready and willing to help out our northern neighbor’s during such an urgent emergency. I want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Alberta communities that have opened their doors and welcomed in evacuees. We will get through this together.”
Information for evacuees
- Alberta’s government will provide up to date information for evacuees online at alberta.ca/northwest-territories-wildfire-evacuation
- Toll-free numbers will also be open as of Friday at 8:00 a.m. and will be available until 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.
- Evacuees in Alberta looking for information can call the toll-free Alberta Wildfire Resource Line, 310-4455.
- Residents still in the Northwest Territories and preparing to evacuate can call toll-free 1-877-770-4636.
Open reception centres
Several communities in Alberta are stepping up to serve as host communities for evacuated residents after the City of Yellowknife issued an evacuation order at 8 p.m. on Aug. 16.
Reception centres are providing a variety of supports including evacuee registration, temporary lodging, food, hygiene, mental health supports and information packages on other supports that may be available.
Evacuees who are unable to secure their own accommodations in Alberta are asked to go to the following communities and register at the local reception centre to gain access to supports:
- Fox Creek
- Lac La Biche
- Red Deer
Yellowknife evacuees travelling by road should arrange their own accommodations where possible to ensure emergency evacuation accommodations are reserved for those individuals with no other options.
Residents who are evacuated by air will be directed to a reception centre at the Calgary International Airport. Those who arrive in Calgary by road can access a reception centre at the Westin Calgary Airport.
Evacuees will need to register with the Northwest Territories to access additional supports through the territorial government. Evacuees who have already registered at an evacuation reception centre in Alberta do not need to complete this form.
Additional host communities to support Yellowknife evacuees are being identified, and the Government of Alberta will share additional locations as this information becomes available.
For a list of up to date reception centre locations visit: https://www.alberta.ca/northwest-territories-wildfire-evacuation
Road side supports
Alberta’s government has set up a refueling station at Steen River, including water and washroom facilities. Staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors are directing traffic with instructions along the highway and via 511 Alberta.
In addition, key supports are in place for evacuees using the highway, including tow trucks, pilot vehicles, heavy duty mechanics and mobile tire repair services. There are also roving patrols to aid with stranded motorists.
Free camping for evacuees
Individuals under mandatory evacuation can camp for free in Alberta Parks. Evacuees must first register at a registration centre and then call the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757 to be matched to a campsite. Evacuees will be able to stay at their campsite for up to 10 consecutive nights while they are evacuated. More information is available on Alberta.ca
Select Alberta Supports offices will be providing extended hours to support wildfire evacuees. Evacuees can check Alberta.ca for locations and hours. Evacuees can also call 310-4455 to get connected to supports.
The Northwest Territories has launched the?Evacuee Income Disruption Support Program to help individuals who have lost employment income due to extended evacuation periods.
For any offers of assistance or donations in support of hosting of evacuees of the NWT, please email [email protected].
- The Behchoko/Yellowknife Fire is classified as out of control and currently sitting at 162,936 hectares. It is located about 16 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife.