School, hospital and RCMP detachment are still standing. All buildings are expected to have at least smoke damage, though the full extent of the damage is still unknown.
Many Slave Lake town services, including phone, gas and electricity have been at least partially interrupted. There is currently no potable water. There is no timeline for service restoration at this time, though it is expected to take at least several weeks.
CNRL/Fort McMurray fire update: Canadian Natural is responding to a forest fire near its Horizon Oil Sands site. The forest fire encroached to approximately 150 metres from one of three staff camps on site. Approximately 1,300 camp residents and personnel have been evacuated. In addition, all non-essential, non-operational personnel remain off the Horizon site and will return to site once the forest fire situation has passed.
There are presently 115 wildfires in Alberta, 36 of which are out of control. These active wildfires have burned approximately 107,000 hectares of land. In the Lesser Slave Lake area alone, there are 15 wildfires burning out of control.
There are also out-of-control wildfires in the Red Earth Creek area and multiple forest fires north of Fort McMurray, which required the evacuation of about 2,000 oil workers.
In addition to the evacuation of Slave Lake, there are now evacuation orders in place in Loon Lake and Chisholm. In addition, the Municipal District of Northern Sunrise has issued evacuation advisories for Little Buffalo and Martin Lake; the Municipality of Wood Buffalo is monitoring the situation; and Athabasca and Municipal District of Big Lake currently have no evacuation orders in place.
Evacuation orders are issued locally by municipalities as part of declaring a state of local emergency. They may be voluntary or mandatory, and may cover all or part of a municipality. Residents should contact their local municipality for the latest information.
Travel in and around Slave Lake continues to be restricted for safety reasons.
- Highway 44 is closed between the junctions of Highway 663 and Highway 2.
- All access into Slave Lake is closed. Evacuation access out of Slave Lake is available on Highway 2 eastbound
- Highway 2 is closed west of Slave Lake from Highway 33 to the Town
- Highway 2 is closed east of Slave Lake from Highways 2A/Highway 44 into the Town
- Highway 88 is closed north of Slave Lake up to Highway 986, located south of Red Earth Creek
- Highway 750 is closed from Highway 679 to Highway 88
Wildfire Road Closure Hotline - 780-644-5653 (To call toll-free, first dial 310-0000)
Due to deteriorating air quality caused by forest fires in northern Alberta, northern residents should take precautions against potential health risks associated with current air conditions. People with respiratory conditions are advised to remain indoors, keep their windows closed and limit outdoor physical activity. People who experience difficulty breathing should consult their physicians. Residents can contact Health Link Alberta to speak to a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).
Albertans can call toll-free 310-4455 to access current information about the wildfire situation such as Red Cross information, highway closures, phone numbers, and what websites to visit for more information.
Red Cross Central Registration Inquiry Bureau is: 1-800-565-4483.
Any family members who are looking for information on where medical patients were moved can call Alberta Health Services at 1-866-301-2668.
Due to high utilization and potential disruption of the water treatment and delivery system caused by the wildfire in Slave Lake, residents remaining in the area are advised that the water supply is not potable, and should not be used for any drinking, cooking or bathing/washing purposes. An alternate source of water should be used at this time.
Please note that this advisory is in effect until further notice. If further information is required, please contact Health Link Alberta 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).
There are 99 fires currently burning in Alberta. Of those fires, 22 are coutLaLKKKjhsdfLLllksdksdjfs of control, 18 are being held.
News conference with RCMP and mayor of Slave Lake scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in Athabasca. News conference with provincial officials - including premier Ed Stelmach - scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in Edmonton. Updates here as they come in.
Work underway to get basic services running again in burned Alberta town
SLAVE LAKE, Alta. - A couple of forest fires that have scorched a total of 170-square kilometres remain at bay near the burned-out Alberta town of Slave Lake.
Flames from one fire destroyed at least a third of the community on the weekend and forced 7,000 residents to flee from their homes.
Damage assessment is underway and work continues to flush Slave Lake's contaminated water distribution system.
Air quality in the area remains a problem due to forest fire smoke.
Firefighting reinforcements from British Columbia and Ontario are expected in the area, while crews and equipment from Edmonton and Calgary are backing up local firefighters.
There are 36 fires burning out of control in Alberta, including one north of Fort McMurray that has grown to about 400-square kilometres.
(The Canadian Press)
NICOLET INSURANCE called the Global newsroom to let us know that anyone who has a home/tenant insurance policy is covered for Mass Evacuation. They are asking clients who’ve been evacuated to call their office – 780-849-6511.
It's going to take some time before people will be allowed back into Slave Lake, Alberta to see if their homes survived a wildfire.
Two forest fires are still burning near the town -- where flames from one fire have destroyed about a third of the community and heavy smoke still hangs in the air.
Crews are assessing the damage, working to restore basic services and continuing to flush the town's contaminated water system.
(The Canadian Press)
Watch this space later in the day for new aerial shots of Slave Lake area. Global 1 en route to scene.