High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | July 25, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on Thu, Jul 25, 2019


Chuckegg Creek Wildfire - Status Changed to BEING HELD

Thanks to the incredibly hard work from thousands of firefighters and support staff, specifically the High Level Forest Area staff, local contractors, business owners, structural firefighting teams from over 30 communities in Alberta and firefighters from across the world, the Chuckegg Creek wildfire is now listed as Being Held (BH). This means that given the current and forecast weather conditions and resources, this wildfire is not anticipated to grow past expected boundaries.

What does this mean now?
Even though the Chuckegg Creek wildfire is listed as Being Held, parts within the interior and predetermined boundaries of the fire may still grow and show active signs of flame and smoke. As a result, a large firefighting operation will remain and continue to work hard to ensure the safety and protection of people, property and resources. Please respect the firefighting efforts involved as we continue to work on this wildfire.

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire is truly an international effort. Firefighters from Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Colorado, Washington and South Africa made their way to the High Level area to offer support. We can’t thank you enough!


Although the status change has occurred, hard work will still continue within the interior of the fire.
Photo taken July 14, 2019

A Fire Advisory remains in effect for the High Level Forest Area. Use caution within the Forest Protection Area. To report a wildfire, call 310-FIRE (3473). The fire danger remains extreme due to the area not receiving any significant rainfall. 


There are currently 22 active wildfires in the High Level Area. Of these fires: 2 are Out of Control (OC), 10 are Being Held (BH) and 10 are Under Control (UC). 

Click here for a map of all fire locations and their status within the High Level Forest Area. (See below for details on the Chuckegg Creek wildfire).

Wildfires of note:

  • Fire (HWF159) is located 7 km northeast of Lutose on the east side of highway 35 and is classified as Being Held (BH) at an estimated size of 0.5 hectares. There are 4 firefighters and 2 helicopters working on this fire.
  • Fire (HWF141) is located 47 km east of North Tall Cree and is classified as Out of Control (OC) at an estimated size of 6 hectares. There are 17 firefighters, 3 helicopters and airtankers working on this fire.
  • Fire (HWF140) is located 45 km to the southeast of South Tall Cree and is classified as Out of Control (OC) at an estimated size of 273 hectares. There are 39 firefighters, 5 helicopters and heavy equipment working on this fire.
  • The Jackpot Creek wildfire (HWF-066) is located north of Lutose and is Under Control (UC) at 74,331 hectares. There are 14 firefighters, 4 helicopters and heavy equipment working on this fire.

NOTE: Unless conditions change, the next update will be at 11:00 a.m. on July 26, 2019.

Firefighters, helicopters, airtankers and heavy equipment are positioned throughout the High Level Forest Area to respond to any new wildfire starts.

Extinguishing hotspots

Firefighters identifying and extinguishing hotspots


  • Last recorded size: 350,134 hectares
  • Fire perimeter: 635.27 km
  • There are 800 firefighters and support staff, 47 helicopters and 50 pieces of heavy equipment fighting this wildfire.
    *Fire size and perimeter are subject to change based on clearer visibility for high-altitude scanning.

Smoke and fire activity may occur along Highway 35 south and Highway 58 east of High Level as that area is within the perimeter of the Chuckegg Creek wildfire. Please use caution as you're traveling through these areas and consider slowing down as you pass through.

Thanks to the hard work of firefighters and other support resources, the mandatory evacuation has been lifted for residents affected near Devil Lake. The State of Local Emergency (SOLE) remains in place. For more information, visit the Mackenzie County Facebook page.

Fire activity continued to be quiet today as cooler temperatures and higher relative humidity levels put a damper on increased fire behaviour. Firefighters continue to identify hotspots and extinguish them in priority areas.

Based on the assessment of the controlled ignition operations over the past several days combined with forecast weather, no additional ignition operations are planned for the foreseeable future. These operations may be considered in the future if required to prevent the fire from threatening to jump the Peace River. The great work that was completed west of La Crete along the west side of the Peace River reduced the containment timeline drastically, saving weeks of additional work and hundreds of firefighters being deployed in that area.

Even though the Chuckegg Creek wildfire is listed as Being Held, it doesn't mean the operation is over. Weeks of work still remains to identify and extinguish hotspots to ensure no further threat to property and communities, and begin reclaiming the fireguards.

The west side of the fire continues to remain quiet, but firefighters and helicopters will continue patrolling those areas and extinguishing hotspots where needed.

Scattered rain continued throughout the day and is likely to persist into this evening. Temperatures for tomorrow should reach 23 degrees with a relative humidity of 45-50% and winds from the west/northwest at 15 km/hr.

Even with the reduced fire activity and cooler weather, areas of the fire will still remain active. Please remain vigilant and aware of your surroundings while traveling near the fire.

Did you know?
The Chuckegg Creek wildfire has welcomed the support of firefighters from Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Ontario, Northwest Territories, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, California, Colorado, Washington and South Africa!

Although the Chuckegg Creek wildfire has not completely burned the entire interior of the fire, the current perimeter is over 630 km around - that's like driving from Edmonton to Calgary, and back!

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire will continue to be an active wildfire situation. As a result, smoke may be present along nearby highways and communities. Please use caution as you travel through these areas to ensure the safety of firefighters and community residents.




A Fire Advisory remains in effect due to the hotter temperatures, no significant rainfall and the ongoing wildfire activity within the High Level Forest Area.

Current short term permits will not be renewed and all permit holders with root rows/root piles need to ensure all piles are extinguished prior to the expiry of their permit.

  • Safe campfires are currently allowed
  • Current seasonal permits issued until October 31, 2019 will remain valid
  • New permits will only be issued for smudges and burn barrels

To get a fire permit please call 780-926-5407 and leave a detailed message including your home address, burn location and what you plan to burn. A patrolman will contact you to arrange a site visit.

Visit albertafirebans.ca for more information or download the new Alberta Fire Bans mobile app.


Download the Alberta Emergency Alert app or visit their website by clicking here. You can also check with the county, the town or your local community to see if new alerts or evacuation orders have been issued.


To stay informed on all road closure information visit the Alberta Transportation website or download the mobile app.


Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta has caused poor air quality and reducing visibility at times. Winds will continue to shift bringing smoky conditions. For health related smoke issues, please visit Alberta Health Services.


During an active wildfire, the highest priority is the safety of the public and wildfire personnel. Please refrain from entering areas of active wildfire suppression. If you encounter aircraft or helicopter bucketing operations on a water body please move your boat to shore.   

The airspace around a wildfire is restricted via NOTAM in a radius of 9 kilometres to an altitude of 3,000 feet above ground level. It is illegal to operate any aircraft not associated with wildfire suppression within the restricted area, including drones. Do not fly drones or UAVs near or within the perimeter of an active wildfire. When a drone is near a wildfire it endangers firefighting personnel and important aerial firefighting operations will be grounded.  Those caught in violation can be subject to an automatic court appearance and a fine of up to $100,000. 


For more information, please contact:

Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer 

High Level Forest Area

Phone: 780-841-9387



Matt Bell | Wildfire Information Officer (Chuckegg Creek wildfire)

Phone: 587-986-4985