Current wildfire status update from Greenview Emergency Operations Centre
May 19, 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)
May 22, 2023 – 7:30 PM
The Sturgeon Lake Complex comprises two fires. GWF017 is estimated to be 5752 hectares in size and GWF023 is estimated to be 3869 hectares in size. As of this afternoon, both fires are considered “Being Held.” The status change means the fires are 100% contained.
The definition of “Being Held” is as such: sufficient resources are currently committed, and sufficient action has been taken, that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existent or predetermined boundaries under prevailing and forecasted weather and fire behaviour conditions.
It is important to note that the fires are not extinguished and still contain hundreds of hot spots. The perimeters of the fires have enough dozer guard and have seen enough firefighter work that the fires are not expected to spread beyond the perimeters. As well, threat mitigation has been conducted on the values at risk. The precipitation received over the last 24 hours has caused the fires to display no visible fire activity. However, thermal scans show that there are still hundreds of hot spots throughout both fires. Crews are taking advantage of the reduced fire behaviour to work on these hot spots. However, when warmer and drier conditions return, the fires will display active fire behaviour again.
Today there were 133 firefighting personnel and 103 management and support staff on site. Eight helicopters and 27 pieces of heavy machinery were allotted to the two fires. Crews were once again unable to use the helicopters; rain and smoke made their use impossible.
An evacuation order was reduced on May 22, 2023 at 3:05 pm for Greenview Residents. The evacuation order remains in effect for everyone South of TWP RD 720, West of RR 223, North of TWP RD 712, West of RR 231, South of TWP RD 705A, and West of RR 230 (up to the Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation East Boarder). Also included is Young’s Point Provincial Park.
BALD MOUNTAIN FIRE (GWF019)
May 22, 2023 – 7:30 PM
This fire is classified as out of control (OC) and is estimated to be 19,435 hectares in size. The fire is approximately 17 kilometres west of Highway 40. The fire has crossed the Bald Mountain Road to the east and is in proximity to the intersection of Odum Ridge Road and Bald Mountain Road to the south.
Forty-six firefighters along with six helicopters and 12 pieces of heavy equipment were assigned to the fire today. However, the rain and smoke did not allow the safe use of helicopters on the fire.
The fire is now considered contained on the southern flank near Two Pinto Road, on the western flank near Bald Mountain Road and on the Northern flank near Nose Mountain Road. Crews continued to work to contain the fire within its perimeter 50 feet in from the fire line. They also monitored for spot fires outside the fire’s edge.
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, WWF028, GWF027)
May 22, 2023 – 11:00 AM
WWF-023 detected on May 5, is burning out of control at 72,830 ha. Firefighters saw no further growth towards Fox Creek today.
Rain is expected through the day increasing in amounts later in the afternoon/evening. Firefighters will be taking advantage of the quieter fire behaviour to reinforce the guard west of Fox Creek and to build new line along the southern edge of the excursion that crossed Highway 43 north of Fox Creek.
Heavy equipment will also be working guards north of Fox Creek to remove hazardous trees that have had their rot structure compromised by the fire – these trees have a greater chance of being blown over posing a significant risk to firefighters in the short term and residents of the community going forward.
There are 164 firefighters and support personnel allocated to this fire along with a structural protection unit and the Fox Creek Fire Department. Partners assisting Alberta on the complex include firefighters from Colorado, New Brunswick and soldiers from 1 Combat Engineer Regiment.
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.
Weather Today, Rain expected through the day in increasing amounts towards the end of the day. Winds will be generally northerly switching to a more steady northeasterly direction by end of day. Winds strengthen from 15-20 km/h through the day to 25-30 km/h by late afternoon and early evening with gusts up to 60 km/h. Cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity values
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. For information up to May 17, please refer to Grande Prairie Forest Area updates here.
Two dozer groups are moving to the wildfire tomorrow and will begin building containment lines. Firefighters continue to monitor the wildfire.
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 22, 2023 – 2:00 PM
Subdued fire activity was observed yesterday morning, as a result of the dense smoke. This smoke continued to suppress fire activity in the morning, as well as limiting ability to utilize aircraft. However, firefighting crews and heavy equipment operators continue to make progress on these wildfires. More activity was observed on the wildfires later in the afternoon as the smoke began to dissipate. Cooler temperatures and much needed rainy conditions are anticipated for today with periods of heavy rain in the afternoon. There are 13 helicopters (including 2 heavy machines) and 77 firefighters working on this group of wildfires.
SWF-057 is located approximately 26 kilometres south of Kinuso and over 30 kilometers southwest of the Town of Slave Lake, is classified as out of control and has burned an estimated 16,728 hectares. Good progress was made by firefighting crews yesterday along the Highway 33 corridor. They worked to extinguish hot spots and control any excursions that were observed. Heavy smoke impacted traffic visibility along the highway, but it helped to reduce fire behaviour in the morning yesterday with an increase noted in the afternoon. The wildfire remains to the east of the Swan River. Firefighters will continue to assess excursions, and extinguish hotspots, working with heavy equipment and helicopter bucket support (should visibility allow). There are 21 firefighters and one heavy equipment group working on this wildfire.
SWF-063 is located approximately seven kilometers south of High Prairie, and sixteen kilometers northwest of Swan Hills, is classified as burning out of control and has burned an estimated 120,670 hectares. In the northwestern portion of the wildfire, firefighters continued to extinguish hotspots and flare ups with helicopter bucket support in the Banana Belt and East Prairie Metis Settlement areas, and heavy equipment teams continued to create guards around fire excursions. Further southeast, heavy equipment and firefighters continued to build fire guards and reinforce the ignition area yesterday, with some helicopter bucketing support as visibility permitted, this work is planned to continue today. Fire activity increased on this southeast corner of the fire in the afternoon yesterday, and firefighters were removed from the area due to safety concerns. 56 firefighters and 4 heavy equipment groups are working on this wildfire.East Prairie Metis Settlement and Town of Swan Hills are under an evacuation order. Visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-emergency-alert.aspx
SWF-064 is located over 40 kilometers northwest of Swan Hills, is classified as out of control and has burned approximately 40,060 hectares.There was insufficient visibility to do an aerial assessment of this fire yesterday, but no significant growth was expected. This fire has connected to SWF-063 to the north.1 heavy equipment group is working on this wildfire.
WILD HAY WILDFIRE COMPLEX (South East of Grande Cache EWF037 and EWF040)
May 21, 2023 – 9:00 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 being held at 578 ha and EWF040 is out of control at 684 ha.
Crews have successfully completed the containment line around EWF040 and EWF037.
There was no perimeter growth on the complex again today. 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 continued to monitor the wildfires and were bucketing on hot spots along the containment lines. 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