NEWS
06/19/2019 09:24 EDT | Updated 06/19/2019 11:12 EDT

Northern Alberta Wildfire Forces Thousands To Flee Their Homes

La Crete residents have been ordered to leave as High Level is on evacuation alert.

Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta via The Canadian Press
A helicopter is seen dropping water on the Chuckegg Creek wildfire west of High Level, Alta., on May 25, 2019. Around 4,000 High Level residents were recently allowed to return to their homes.

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. — Advancing flames of a wildfire have forced the evacuation of the hamlet of La Crete in northern Alberta.

“The wildfire is advancing quickly,” reads a message on the Mackenzie County Facebook page Tuesday night.

“Everyone in the area must immediately evacuate. Crews will be going door to door. Please notify your neighbour.”

There was no immediate word on how many people are affected by the order to leave.

Officials say more than 9,000 people have been forced from their homes due to out of control wildfires in the region. 

The swelling numbers follow mandatory evacuation orders for communities including the Beaver First Nation, Dene Tha’ First Nation, other parts of Mackenzie County and the Peerless Trout First Nation.

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly if the wildfire situation gets worse.

Watch: Here’s what the wildfire situation looked like just weeks ago in Alberta. Story continues below. 

 

These communities include High Level, parts of the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River, Bigstone Cree Nation and the hamlets of Wabasca-Desmerais, Sandy Lake and Chipewyan Lake.

The province says the 9,000 number includes about 700 people from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement who had to leave the community on May 26.

The Chuckegg Creek, Jackpot Creek and McMillan complex wildfires together cover an area of about 6,750 square kilometres.

About 4,000 High Level residents who were forced to flee their homes last month were only recently allowed back.