Wildfires continue to roll through parts of Northern Alberta, with flames beginning to make their way to the town of High Level, forcing their population of around 4000 to evacuate their homes in order to remain safe.
Premier Jason Kenney gave an update on Tuesday morning saying that thousands have been evacuated from High Level and Mackenzie County as well as parts of the Dene Tha' First Nation. Three of the fires had been extinguished and one was "being held", officials said.The city's hotels are packed with evacuees fleeing the fire in High Level.
The Town of High Level told residents on Monday to fill their gas tanks, gather important documents and prepare food and water before ultimately issuing the evacuation order.
About 20 patients were moved from the High Level hospital over the long weekend.
The deployment follows a Level 6-ranked fire now burning near High Level, Alta. That means flames are jumping from treetop to treetop.
The Chuckegg Creek wildfire nearly tripled in size overnight and is now 690 square kilometres in size. Power has also been knocked out because of the fire, but was expected to be restored Monday evening.
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"Over the next 48 hours we'll see crews from Ontario, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia join Alberta firefighters under mutual agreements that we have with those provincial governments". Crews and heavy equipment worked on the east side of the fire, which was very active as well'.
"We will certainly be proud to return the favour in the future".
And with continuing hot and dry condition, the danger will only increase, officials said.
The update also noted that the number of fires now seen in the 2019 wildfire season in Alberta is at or slightly above the five-year average and that most are believed to have been caused by human activity.
Fire danger in that part of the province, along with parts of neighbouring Saskatchewan, is considered extreme or very high with seven "out of control" fires now burning in the area.
Most of northern Alberta is under a fire ban, fire permits are now suspended in the impacted areas, and an off-highway vehicle restriction is also in effect.