The fire danger in the Fort McMurray Forest Area is overall VERY HIGH, with the exception of the area surrounding Lake Athabasca and to the north, the fire danger is EXTREME.
Please use caution when working or recreating in the outdoors. Always ensure you fully extinguish your campfire and if you see smoke or flame in the forest, call 310-FIRE (3473).
Structure protection crews installed pumps, hoses and sprinkler systems on structures today (July 5, 2022).
A fire ban is in effect within the Fort McMurray Forest Area for the area north of Lake Athabasca. Please visit albertafirebans.ca to see a map of the exact area covered under this fire ban.
Under this ban
• all existing fire permits are suspended.
• wood campfires on public land, private land and provincial campgrounds
• backyard fire pits
• charcoal briquette barbecues
• fireworks and exploding targets
• propane or natural gas powered appliances
• indoor wood fires
If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.
The fire ban will remain in effect until conditions improve.
To view the ministerial order and maps, click here.
FORT MCMURRAY WILDFIRE UPDATE
Since January 1, 2022, there have been 36 wildfires in the Fort McMurray Forest Area burning a total of 26,631 hectares (ha).
MWF015 was detected on June 12 and is located 24 km southeast of Fort Fitzgerald, 49 km southeast of Fort Smith and 115 km north of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 1,315 ha in size and classified as being held.
MWF018 was detected on June 13 and is located 28 km southeast of Fort Fitzgerald, 50 km southeast of Fort Smith and 90 km north of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 2,810 ha in size and classified as being held.
MWF022 was detected on June 13 and is located 65 km southeast of Fort Fitzgerald and 62 km north northeast of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 10,600 ha in size and classified as being held.
MWF033 was detected on June 30 and is located 30 km southwest of Fort Fitzgerald and 110 km north of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 286 ha in size and classified as being held. The fire has reached the west side of Leland lake.
MWF034 was detected on June 30 and is located 50 km southeast of Fort Fitzgerald and 90 km north of Fort Chipewyan. It is currently estimated to be 451 ha in size and classified as being held.
Since these wildfires are located in remote areas where they do not threaten communities or resources, we allow the wildfires to play out their natural role onto the landscape under the watchful eye of experienced fire managers. Using this wildfire management strategy has many benefits. It re-introduces fire onto the landscape, creates a break in the continuous fuels, reduces the intensity of the fire, provides safety zones for our firefighting crews to work from and reduces the cost of fighting these wildfires.
These wildfire are actively monitored by firefighters on a regular basis and do not threatening any communities at this time. There are currently four firefighters based in Fort Chipewyan and ready to respond to new wildfires. Eight firefighters are also stationed in Fort Smith.
We ask residents not to disturb or move the equipment if found on structures or near properties. Specialists have installed them in strategic locations where the equipment works best.
WILDFIRE OF NOTE
MWF031 was detected on June 25 and is located 21 km north of Fort Chipewyan and remains on the edge of Flett Lake. The wildfire is estimated to be 10,453 ha in size. It remains classified as being held. This wildfire does not threatened any community at this time. The fire has not grown towards the south and therefore has not gotten closer to Fort Chipewyan or the airport.
Today, firefighters observed similar growth as yesterday with moderate to high fire behaviour on the western boundary. Fire active picked up near 11:00 a.m. and residents of Fort Chipewyan would have noticed the large column of smoke near noon. This fire activity is expected to continue until 8:00 p.m. this evening. Be advised that the smoke is produced by the fire on the northwest flank, away from the community. The fire was expected to reach Powder Creek today, however the fire perimeter could not be assessed this afternoon due to smoke, an updated size will be available tomorrow.
Firefighters expect the same fire behaviour tomorrow as was observed today. The temperatures are forecasted to be slightly higher, nearing 27c but the relative humidity is also likely to increase which may lessen the fire activity. Winds are expected to come from the southeast, 15 km/h gusting to 30 km/h, pushing the wildfire away from the community towards the northwest.
Tomorrow, firefighters will continue to do indirect attack on the wildfire and will be assisted by helicopter bucket operations and plan on conducting additional ignition burning in strategic locations on the southwest boundary of the fire. The goal of the ignition is to tie the wildfire to natural fuel breaks in an attempt to prevent the wildfire from moving south. Two Electra airplanes also assisted with wildfire operations, dropping retardant in an attempt to build containment lines to prevent the southern spread of the wildfire. Other aircraft were also in use today and available in Fort McMurray if needed.
A group of firefighters worked with the structure protection specialists assessing and deploying equipment such as pumps, hoses and sprinkler systems on identified buildings that are directly threatened by the wildfire. This work will continue tomorrow with the assistance of a helicopter and a jet boat. Additional structure protection equipment and six crew members are schedule to arrive tomorrow via aircraft. The structure protection plan is now complete for the community of Allison Bay and Fort Chipewyan is currently being drafted.
A total of 32 firefighters and five helicopters are assigned to wildfire MWF031 and stationed in the community of Fort Chipewyan. Additional aircraft are available if needed in Fort McMurray.
Local aircraft operators, please be advised that a “notice to airmen” NOTAM is in effect for the area surrounding wildfire MWF031.
To view the map of MWF031 in full size, click here. (As of July 4, 2022)
All of the above mentioned wildfires were caused by lightning. To learn more about the classification of wildfires, please click here.
To view the wildfires on a map, check out the new wildfire dashboard. It provides up-to-date wildfire information at the click of a button. This interactive tool displays important statistics on the number of active wildfires in the province, sizes, locations, suspected causes and more.
SPECIAL AIR QUALITY STATEMENT IN EFFECT
A special air quality statement is in effect for many parts of the Fort McMurray Forest Area. You can view the statement by clicking here. To view the affected area, visit the interactive map by clicking here.
If you have smoke related concerns, we recommend that you visit the Alberta Health FAQs on wildfire smoke by clicking here. You can also visit firesmoke.ca to view current and forecasted smoke in your area.
A MESSAGE FROM THE REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY OF WOOD BUFFALO
There are currently no threats to any communities at this time. In the event of an evacuation alert or order within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, we recommend that you download Alertable - Emergency Notifications.
To learn more about how you can protect your property from wildfire, visit the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo FireSmart website:https://www.rmwb.ca/en/fire-and-emergency-services/firesmart.aspx
Managing emergencies is all about planning for them in advance. Once a year, a review of the REMP and CEMPs is done to ensure they reflect all the needs of our region. To learn more about the Regional Emergency Management Plan, click here.
PROVINCIAL WILDFIRE UPDATE
Since January 1, 2022 in the Forest Protection Area, there have been 531 wildfires burning a total of 39,551 ha.
Using FireSmart principles is becoming a way of life for many communities in North America. With so many neighborhoods threatened by wildfire each year, residents are taking action and reducing the risk to their homes, cabins and properties.
Being FireSmart doesn't have to be complicated and there are many resources to help you get started. You can check out some easy tasks by visiting firesmartcanada.ca, click here to watch a video or you can take the FireSmart Canada FREE one-hour course by clicking here.
REQUEST A FIRE PERMIT
Wildfire season in Alberta is from March 1 until October 31. During wildfire season, you are required to have a fire permit if you plan on burning in the Forest Protection Area, with the exception of a campfire.
To request a free fire permit online, visit the new portal. You will need a MyAlberta Digital ID to access the portal. Please note that you can still request your permit from the Fort McMurray forest office by calling 780-743-7125.
For more information regarding fire permits, you can view our video by clicking here.
For more information, please contact:
- Alberta Wildfire
- Alberta Fire Bans
- FireSmart in Alberta
- Alberta Emergency Alerts
- Air Quality Health Index
- Wildfire Smoke and Your Health
- 511 Road Reports
- Emergency Preparation