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Posted on: June 17, 2019

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | June 17, 2019 at 9:15 pm

THE CHUCKEGG CREEK FIRE
An evacuation alert is in place for everyone in Rocky Lane and High Level north of the Peace River, west of RR 150 south of Hwy 58, the Town of High Level, south and southeast of the Town including the Dene Tha First Nations, Bushe River Reserve, and Beaver First Nations Child Lake Reserve.  Additionally, all residents located in the Blue Hills area north of TWP Road 1010, west of RR 150, south of the Peace River including the Hamlet of La Crete.

Please check with the County or the Town or your local community to see if this alert upgrades to an evacuation order in the coming hours.

The fire is currently about six kilometers north of the Boyer River cell tower and about 10 km west of La Crete.  Winds overnight are forecast to be SW 15-20 km/hr.  The fire will continue to move throughout the night, as it did last night.  Be prepared.  Stay informed.

Today was a very active fire day.

  • On the north side we had a spot fire cross the guard.  Heavy equipment and ground crews were quick to action this escapee and were able to extinguish it.  Crews continue to work along the north perimeter.  This is slow work as the burning is very deep into the ground.
  • On the west side, there was active burning on three fingers burning in a W/NW direction.  Heavy equipment is working to finish tying in the guard to Chain Pond.  We are waiting to take advantage of optimal conditions for a back burn in this area.
  • On the south side of the fire crews, supported by helicopters with buckets, continued to extinguish hotspots and work along the roadways to make the Paddle Prairie community safe for re-entry.  There is still a fair amount of fire and smoke in this area as unburned islands of trees within the fire perimeter light up.
  • On the southeast part of the fire there was lots of smoke visible from smouldering windrows and other burning vegetation however the fire remained behind containment lines in this area.
  • On the east part of the fire, north of the Peace River, the fire grew in a north/northeast direction today.  At 5:00 pm today the fire was about six km north of the Boyer River cell tower and about 10 km back from the river directly west of La Crete.  We completed a successful back burn along the Peace River.  The intent was to remove this vegetation to reduce the risk of the fire spotting across the river and into Blue Hills when the wind changes to westerly.  (For your information, the poplar in that ignition area burned clean and hot which demonstrates just how dry and volatile the forest is.  Typically poplar, with more moisture than coniferous trees, burns slower.  That’s not the case under current conditions. )  We also completed some back burning ahead of this part of the fire to try to control the forward spread, as well as to the east of the fire.
  • Further north along the east side, dozers are working to create a guard to tie in to a roadway, and will work through the night if safe to do so, and return early tomorrow morning, to strengthen the roadway as it leads towards Devil Lake. 
  • Sprinkler protection is being deployed on various values in the Devil Lake area and in other areas.
  • The airtankers, helicopters, heavy equipment and ground crews will be working early in the morning, smoke permitting.

For tonight we expect only a moderate relative humidity recovery of 60-70%.  Winds are expected to continue throughout the night at SW 15-20 km/hr.  This means the fire will continue to travel all night, just like last night.  The fire could travel about 10 km depending on the conditions.

The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 21 degrees, 40% humidity, and winds W25 gusting to 45 km/hr.  There is a slight chance of rain tomorrow afternoon, however it is going to take substantial rain (more than 20 ml) to make even a slight difference to fire intensity.  These are the driest conditions this area has seen in more than 40 years.  The winds will be the factor tomorrow and we expect the fire to travel in an easterly direction with significant risk of spotting up to 2 km or more in the gusty winds.

The fire is currently 6 km north of the Boyer River cell tower and 10 km west of La Crete

  • The fire is currently just under 300,000 hectares
  • We have 890 firefighters and personnel, 46 helicopters and 153 pieces of heavy equipment working on this wildfire.

http://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update 

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