High Level Area Update

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

Posted on Mon, Jun 17, 2019


The Chuckegg and Jackpot Creek Wildfires Remain Out of Control

Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction Continues


Chuckegg Creek wildfire today.

Click here for a map of all fire locations and their status within the High Level Forest Area.

Firefighters, helicopters, airtankers and heavy equipment are positioned throughout the High Level Forest Area to respond to any new wildfire starts. Please report wildfires by calling 310-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.


The southern perimeter west of the highway is holding well and crews are pushing further into the interior. On the southern side, east of the highway, dozers have reached the perimeter and have started establishing dozer guard. Fireguard continues to be built up the west side of the northern excursion on the east side of the Hay river. New fireguard is being established in the north to tie off from the highway to the Hay river. Highway remains open. Indian Cabins is evacuated but has not yet been impacted by the fire

  • There are 116 firefighters and support staff, 11 helicopters and 2 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.
  • The last recorded size is 75,680 hectares.






A Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction is in effect for the High Level Forest Area due to dry conditions and no significant rainfall in the forecast. The ban and restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve. All fire permits are suspended and no new fire permits will be issued.


  • All open fires including campfires in campgrounds, backcountry and random camping areas and backyard fire pits.
  • Charcoal briquettes, turkey fryers and tiki torches.
  • Fireworks and exploding targets.
  • The use of off-highway vehicles for recreational use on all public lands.


  • Portable propane fire pits that are CSA approved or UL certified.
  • Gas or propane stoves and barbecues that are CSA approved or UL certified and are designed for cooking or heating.
  • Catalytic or infrared-style heaters.

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




Paddle Prairie has an evacuation order in place. Evacuees should register at the reception centre located at the Grande Prairie Regional College. The reception centre phone number is 780-567-5587. For information on the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement evacuation, please visit their Facebook page.


Due to the wildfire activity in the north area of Mackenzie County, everyone in the area of Indian Cabins must evacuate immediately, and must travel north via Highway 35 to the Northwest Territories. 

The evacuation alert for the Blue Hills area has been expanded, and now includes everyone located north of Township Rd. 1010, west of Range Rd. 150, and south of the Peace River including the Hamlet of La Crete, and everyone in this area must be prepared to evacuate on short notice.

More information is also available at www.facebook.com/Mackenzie-County-262409787134568/ for Mackenzie County residents. 

Alberta Transportation has reopened Highway 35 south of High Level with the aid of a police escort to ensure travelers safety; expect delays. Highway 697 east of Highway 35 to the La Crete Ferry remains closed. The La Crete Ferry is also closed. To stay informed on all road closure info 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.


Leslie Lozinski | Wildfire Information Officer | Chuckegg Creek 

Mobile: 780-623-9758




Stephanie Grocholski | Wildfire Information Officer | High Level Forest Area

Mobile: 780-926-7509