Fort McMurray Area Update

Fort McMurray Forest Area Wildfire Update - May 15, 2024 - 8:30 a.m.

Posted on Wed, May 15, 2024


The wildfire danger is EXTREME in the Fort McMurray Forest Area. 

Alberta Wildfire is currently responding to an out of control wildfire southwest of Fort McMurray. MWF017 is 20,940 hectares in size. See below for more information.

A FIRE RESTRICTION remains in effect for the Fort McMurray Forest Area. 

Please be cautious when spending time outdoors. Wildfires can start and spread very easily in dry grass.

Report wildfires by calling 310-FIRE (3473).

MWF017 May 15 2024 0700

Wildfire MWF017 at 7 a.m. on May 15, 2024.


MWF017 is classified as out of control at 20,940 hectares. The wildfire grew significantly to the northeast yesterday, driven by gusty winds.

See the latest map of wildfire MWF017.

As of 8 a.m. today, the closest point of the fire is about 5.5 km from the Fort McMurray landfill and 4.5 km from the intersection of highways 63 and 881.

Two night vision helicopters worked overnight to drop water on the fire’s active edges and firefighters patrolled from the highway to monitor fire activity.

Less than 1 mm of rain fell on the wildfire overnight. Active fire behaviour is expected today but should be less than yesterday, thanks to cooler temperatures and weaker winds.

Winds from the northwest at 10 km/h are expected today, which should push the fire away from Fort McMurray and Highway 63. A high of 13C is expected.

Firefighters will be back on the fire line today and will work to establish a containment line. Helicopters and airtankers will continue to drop water and retardant on the active edges of the fire. Heavy equipment operators will build fire guards to the southwest of Fort McMurray.

There are 117 firefighters and 14 helicopters currently assigned to the wildfire.

Firefighters are working on structure protection in the Prairie Creek and Beacon Hill neighbourhoods. Structure protection was installed on the Rickards Landing Industrial Park, Gregoire Lake Estates and Gregoire Lake 176. A plan is in place for structure protection along Amoco road, if required.

Alberta Wildfire and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo have entered into unified command and will work together to manage this wildfire.

The cause of this wildfire remains under investigation.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has issued an evacuation order for the communities of Prairie Creek, Beacon Hill, Abasand, and Grayling Terrace.

An evacuation alert remains in place for the rest of Fort McMurray, Saprae Creek, Gregoire Lake Estates, Fort McMurray 468 First Nation and Anzac.

See Alberta Emergency Alert for the latest information. 

See 511 Alberta for the latest information on road closures.

MWF023 was detected May 13 and is currently classified as being held, at 1.8 hectares in size. It is located about 3 km northeast of the Fort Chipewyan airport, 1.7 km from the Allison Bay fire guard and 9 km northeast of the community. Firefighters continue to work on this wildfire. There is no threat to the community.

Jean Lake Complex (MXC001) is made up of two wildfires (HWF021 and MWF010), located near Birch Mountains. MWF010 is 7,976 hectares in size and HWF021 is 378 hectares. Both are classified as being held and do not pose a threat to any community. 

There are currently two carryover wildfires from the 2023 season burning in the Fort McMurray Forest Area. Both of these wildfires are under control. They are being monitored by firefighters.

For up-to-date information on the current wildfire situation, visit Alberta Wildfire Status.

Download the Alberta Wildfire App for Apple or Android.

Fire Restriction wide-1

A fire restriction is in effect for the Fort McMurray Forest Area.

Under this restriction:

  • Existing fire permits are restricted, suspended or cancelled and no new fire permits will be issued.
  • Safe wood campfires within fire rings in campgrounds are allowed.

Prohibited on public lands, including backcountry and random camping areas:

  • All outdoor wood fires.
  • Fires fueled exclusively by charcoal briquettes.
  • The use of fireworks and exploding targets.

Allowed in designated campgrounds on private and public land, designated day use areas and on privately owned land:

  • Safe wood campfires.
  • Backyard fire pits, charcoal briquette barbeques.
  • Propane/natural gas-powered appliances CSA approved or UL certified.

Never leave a campfire unattended. Soak it, stir it and soak it again until cool to the touch to ensure it is extinguished.

If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.

The fire restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve.


Take wildfire prevention to new heights with our Wildfire Pledge Campaign!

Pledge today to reduce wildfires across the Fort McMurray Forest Area and you'll be entered to win an educational helicopter ride!

Take the pledge here:


Off-highway vehicles (OHVs) have exhaust systems that get hotter than 200°C. At these temperatures, built-up materials (such as grass, muskeg, moss, or other debris) can heat up, smoulder and ignite. These can fall to the ground as you are riding, starting a wildfire.

You can reduce the risk of your vehicle causing a wildfire by following these simple steps:

  • Before you ride, clean out hot spots and remove debris from your machine.
  • After riding through muskeg or tall grass, stop and remove any build-up from your machine.
  • Carry firefighting equipment such as a small shovel, collapsible pail or fire extinguisher.
  • Wash your OHV and keep it clean – do not wash in streams and creeks.
  • Make sure your muffler and spark arrestor are working properly.
  • Stop frequently. Take the time to knock debris from your machine’s hot spots. If the debris is smouldering, soak it, stir it, and soak it again to make sure it is extinguished.


Drones are not allowed to be flown within five nautical miles (or 9.3 kilometers) of a wildfire. If you fly a drone within this distance of a wildfire, it immediately halts aerial firefighting operations because it is not safe for aircraft to be flying with drones in the air. Interfering with wildfire control operations can land you a court appearance.

See Transport Canada's Forest fires and drones fact sheet for more information.

Exploding targets

The Forest and Prairie Protection Act and associated regulations legislates the use, discharge or detonation of exploding targets within the FPA of Alberta. Written permission to discharge or detonate is required under the act.

Alberta Peace Officers may issue warning or violation tickets under the act. Violators can be ticketed at $600. Individuals who knowingly contravene the act and start a wildfire can be further prosecuted in the courts.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police may also pursue additional charges under legislation that includes mischief or arson under the Criminal Code of Canada.

See Wildfire compliance and enforcement for more information.


Josee St-Onge

Information Officer

Phone: 587-591-1855





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