Current wildfire status update from Greenview Emergency Operations Centre
May 21, 2023 – 9:00 pm
Please note that the information in the following update is official information as provided by Alberta Forestry. Greenview strives to provide a timely high-level summary of active wildfires within Greenview and will post updates to evacuation orders and alerts as available and provided by Alberta Forestry and the Province of Alberta, which are incredibly busy managing the current wildfire situation in the province.
Additional map resources
Fire Information for Resource Management US/CANADA
Alberta residents who are looking to provide equipment or for anyone who is trained and qualified in firefighting looking to volunteer to help in the wildfire efforts is invited to send an email outlining their desire to assist to EmergencySupportOffers@gov.ab.ca
STURGEON COMPLEX (GWF017 & GWF023) Valleyview Area
May 21, 2023 – 10:00 AM
The Sturgeon Lake Complex comprises two fires. GWF017 is estimated to be 5752 hectares in size and is out of control, while GWF023 is estimated to be 3869 hectares in size and is out of control. Today there are 140 firefighting personnel and 104 management and support staff on site. Eleven helicopters and 25 pieces of heavy machinery are allotted to the two fires.
Smoke cover is once again impeding visibility and the use of aircraft. Should the smoke dissipate, the helicopters will be used to assess the fires and to helibucket any flare-ups. Crews on the ground will patrol the fire line and action any hot spots 50 to 100 feet along the perimeter. They will also monitor structures for any new threats that may arise. An important concern for firefighters today is the presence of dangerous trees in and around the fires. Due to the degree of drought in the ground and the intensity with which the fires burned, many trees have little to no root systems left. When this happens, trees can fall with a slight gust of wind. Heavy machinery will be used to try and mitigate the danger posed to firefighters.
While a bit of rain was observed in camp overnight, the rain gauges on the fires did not record any precipitation. However, the relative humidity is forecasted to be higher today, and winds should be light. Fire behaviour is generally expected to be lower today.
An evacuation order was updated on May 18, 2023 at 9:15 am for Greenview Residents in the following area The evacuation order remains in effect for everyone East of RR 242, North to TWP RD 722, West of HWY 49, South to TWP 710, West to RR 225, and South to TWP RD 700, including Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation.
BALD MOUNTAIN FIRE (GWF019) – Grovedale Area
May 21, 2023 – 10:00 AM
This fire is classified as out of control (OC) and was estimated to be 14,540 hectares in size. The fire is approximately 17 kilometres west of Highway 40. The fire crossed Bald Mountain Road to the east on Friday and is in proximity to the intersection of Odum Ridge Road and Bald Mountain Road to the south.
Forty-six firefighters along with five helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment, are assigned to the fire today. The smoke has dissipated enough over this fire to permit the use of aircraft. The helicopters will be used to assess the fire, provide an updated area estimate, and to helibucket any flare-ups. Crews will continue work on surrounding the two new excursions across Bald Mountain Road as well as the growth to the south where Weyerhauser Road meets the end of Bald Mountain Road with a dozer guard. Firefighters are actioning these areas with water and hand tools. Crews will also work on the northwest flank, actioning hot spots 50 feet in along the fire line.
Please respect all evacuation orders and alerts that are in effect and stay away from all active wildfires. This is for your safety as well as firefighter safety as suppression operations are conducted.
Greenview issued an Evacuation Order on May 12, 2023, for all residents located south of Township Road 690, between Highway 40 and the BC Border in the Grovedale area. Everyone north of Township Road 690 to the Wapiti River should be prepared to evacuate on short notice.
EAGLE COMPLEX – Fox Creek/Little Smoky (WWF023, GWF027)
May 21, 2023 – 10:00 AM
WWF-023 was detected on May 5, is burning out of control at 77,599 ha. Containment lines north of the Town of Fox Creek continue to hold.
A large portion of the wildfire saw some precipitation overnight which is helping to quiet fire behaviour this morning and has allowed helicopters to resume operations over certain areas. These conditions provide firefighters on the ground and heavy equipment operators to build on the progress made to date in containing the wildfire.
Crews in the Iosegun Lake area patrolled the established fire guard, attacking hotspots while firefighters working west of Highway 43 moved in from the north and south ends, making good progress with pumps and hose. Work south of Highway 43 is scheduled to be reinforced by heavy equipment operators who will be building dozer guards around the wildfire in that area.
Alberta has 40 firefighters and support personnel allocated to this fire, along with a structural protection unit and the Fox Creek Fire Department. Partners from other jurisdictions include Helitack crew members from Oregon, 20 Colorado-based firefighters, soldiers from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment, and a 19-member unit crew from New Brunswick.
There are currently 17 helicopters assigned to the Eagle complex, including 2 heavy helicopters dedicated to bucketing operations.
Additionally, three structural groups from municipalities in the Alberta Wildland Urban Interface Fire Structure Protection Program have been working together on structural protection for the community.
Meteorologists with Alberta Wildfire have indicated precipitation and cooler temperatures are in the forecast for the region early this week. The cooler conditions will help to decrease fire danger levels and allow firefighters to further expand on gains already made in containing wildfires in the area.
Existing lines to the north and west of town continue to hold with no significant growth towards the community of Fox Creek.
Today, A surface front through BC and a trough through Alberta will produce widespread showers and a risk of thundershowers from the southwestern boreal to the southern eastern slopes. Winds today will be E-NW 10-15 km/h with gusts to 40 km/h.
GWF-027 was detected on May 13 and is out of control at 54, 274 ha. Whitecourt Forest Area is responsible for managing this wildfire as of May 18 and will update information on this page. For information up to May 17, please refer to Grande Prairie Forest Area updates here.
An Evacuation Order was updated on May 19, 2023 at 4:30 pm to include Townships 65-25-5, 64-25-5, 63-25-5, 62-25-5, 65-24-5, 64-24-5, 63-24-5, 62-24-5, 65-23-5, 64-23-5, 63-23-5, 62-23-5, 65-22-5, 64-22-5, 63-22-5, 62-22-5, 65-21-5, 64-21-5, 63-21-5, 62-21-5 along with the entire Town of Fox Creek extending down to Highway 947, the Hamlet of Little Smoky and surrounding areas.
An Evacuation Alert remains in place in an area North of the Hamlet of Little Smoky to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
GRIZZLY COMPLEX (Big Lakes County) – SWF057, SWF063, SWF064
May 21, 2023 – 10:00 AM
In total, there are 88 firefighters,14 helicopters and six heavy equipment groups working on the Grizzly complex wildfires.
SWF-057 located approximately 26 kilometres south of Kinuso and over 30 kilometres southwest of the Town of Slave Lake, is classified as out of control and has burned an estimated 8,711 hectares. Firefighters and heavy equipment will be focusing on the west side of the wildfire and aircraft will be deployed once visibility improves. There are 21 firefighters and a heavy equipment group working on this wildfire. At this time, Highway 33 is open however, travel is not recommended due to heavy smoke. For the road conditions, visit https://511.alberta.ca/#:Alerts
SWF-063 located approximately seven kilometres south of High Prairie and approximately 16 kilometres northwest of Swan Hills is classified as burning out of control and has burned an estimated 92,742 hectares. Firefighters continue to work in the northern end of the wildfire extinguishing hotspots. Heavy equipment continues to build fire guard around the fire excursion in the East Prairie Metis Settlement and firefighters are working to extinguish hotspots along the edge of fire guards. In the south end of the wildfire, heavy equipment is building a fire guard and firefighters are working on extinguishing hotspots along the guard. There are 56 firefighters and four heavy equipment groups working on this wildfire. East Prairie Metis Settlement and the Town of Swan Hills are under an evacuation order. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-emergency-alert.aspx
SWF-064 located over 40 kilometres northwest of Swan Hills is classified as out of control and has burned approximately 22,220 hectares. No significant growth was observed on the wildfire over the past days. The fire guard on the northeast and northwest side of the wildfire is holding. Heavy equipment continues to work on this wildfire.
WILD HAY WILDFIRE COMPLEX (South East of Grande Cache EWF037 and EWF040)
May 21, 2023 – 12:00 PM
There are multiple wildfires located south of the Little Smoky River, north of the Wild Hay River and east of Hwy 40 north. These also include the areas near the Willow Haul Road and the Jack Wright Road north of Hinton. These wildfires were formerly reported as five separate fires, but due to more accurate GPS measuring, have been determined to be two larger fires. EWF037 is out of control at 578 ha and EWF040 is out of control at 684 ha.
Yesterday crews successfully completed the containment line around EWF040.
EWF-037 is now being held as of 1:17 yesterday afternoon.
There was no perimeter growth on the complex again yesterday. The containment lines around the fires have withheld. Smoke and flame may still be observed within the interior of both EWF-037 and EWF-040.
Today crews continue to monitor the wildfires and will be bucketing on hotpsots along the containment line. Great progress has been made in the past days on this wildfire complex.
Important Things to Consider:
- Residents, businesses and industry are encouraged to proactively prepare properties as much as possible in the event of a wildfire. Read more at FireSmart/ Alberta.ca.
- Emergency preparedness is key. Residents outside the evacuation area are reminded to be prepared by:
- Packing important documents, medications, and clothing/personal items for 3 days
- Having a plan for your pets
- Downloading the Alberta Emergency Alert app from: alberta.ca/emergencyalert
- Learn more about wildfire preparedness at: alberta.ca/wildfire-preparedness.aspx