High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | June 18, 2019 at 9:00 p.m

Posted on Tue, Jun 18, 2019


The Chuckegg and Jackpot Creek Wildfires Remain Out of Control

Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction Continues

Chuckegg crew on the line

Even when the flames are knocked down, firefighters still have a lot of work to do by digging and putting out hotspots.  Wildland firefighters are hand digging with shovels and dousing the fire with hose on Chuckegg Creek Fire. 

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.

Please stay informed by downloading 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.

CURRENT HIGH LEVEL AREA UPDATE | June 18, 2019 9:00 p.m

There have been three new wildfire starts in the High Level Area today.  

HWF088 is classified as Out of Control and located on the west side of Hutch Lake and is estimated at 50 hectares.  No communities are at risk at this time due to this wildfire.  The fire is located 25 km southeast of Meander River, 44 km northwest from the Town of High Level/Bushe and approximately 20 km northwest from Hutch Lake Cabin area.  Transportation is on site and piloting vehicles through due to smoke concerns.  There are 3 crews, two helicopters and early morning tanker operations planned to work on this fire so long as visibility allows.

HWF089 is Being Held and is located on the east side of highway 35 North and is approximately 35 km south of Meander River.  The fire is estimated at 1.5 hectares.  One crew and one helicopter is planned to work towards extinguishing this fire early in the morning.  

HWF090 is classified as Being Held at 1.5 hectares.  One crew and one helicopter is planned to work towards extinguishing this fire early in the morning.  The fire is located 35 km northeast of Meander River.

THE CHUCKEGG CREEK FIRE | June 18, 2019 9:00 p.m

  • Heavy smoke on the east half of the fire impeded air operations until about 3 pm today.  The flipside to the visibility issues is that the smoke shaded out the east side of the fire, slowing down fire spread.  When the smoke cleared and the sun came out, fire activity increased.  Afternoon winds and embedded thundershowers with associated wind, further increased fire activity, pushing the fire eastward towards the Peace River and La Crete.  As of 1900 the fire had not jumped the River and there were no spot fires across the river.  Airtankers tried to assist by dropping retardant on the east side of the Peace River, to prevent spot fires and forward progression of the fire towards La Crete, however smoke was too heavy and the planes could not see their targets. Helicopters with buckets, ground crews and heavy equipment are ready to action any new fires in this area, visibility permitting.  The fire is about 2 km back from the river at the oxbow north of La Crete, and about 10 km back from the river in a line directly west of La Crete.  Due to smoky conditions we have not been able to get a good look at the north head of this part of the wildfire.
  • The north side of the fire continues to look quite good. There is some big timber in this area, with deep burning conditions.  Crews are making steady progress in this area north of Highway 58.
  • The fire was active on the west side today.  Fingers from yesterday burned in a northward direction.  West winds in the afternoon allowed us to conduct some successful ignitions, as we continue to clean up the perimeter and remove vegetation.
  • On the southwest corner, heavy equipment continued to tie in to Chain Pond and create a defensible space in that area.
  • Paddle Prairie, under bright sun and strong and gusty winds, held it’s perimeter today.  Smoke is an issue in this area, and will be for a few days to come with westerly winds.  There are a couple of persistent hotspots that crews are working on.  There is little risk of fire spread in this area.
  • On the south east part of the fire, east of the Peace River, there was lots of smoke today burning in windrows and peaty soils.  There were no spots across the river and no threat of the fire escaping in this area.
  • The structure protection unit made good progress today.  They have completed or are in the process of completing structure assessment, deployment or preparation on the rural properties south of High Level, in the Devil Lake area, as well as west of LaCrete.  Work is underway for heavy water protection of Norbord and Tolko.  Tomorrow this group will investigate values potentially at risk in the Blue Hills area.  This unit will work through the night patrolling and deploying structure protection.

The fire is now 324,518 hectares. Current map is attached.

There are 851 firefighters and personnel, 52 helicopters, 153 pieces of heavy equipment.

Be prepared.  Stay informed.


THE JACKPOT CREEK FIRE | June 18, 2019 8:30 p.m

Good progress on most of Jackpot Creek Wildfire today except for the northeast corner.  We expect that the fire has grown in the northeast but due to heavy smoke, firefighters could not get a good assessment.

The fire is holding in the southwest.  Also holding on the north side, west of Hay River.  

Heavy equipment and firefighters have built 1.3 kilometers of dozer guard on the south east side of the fire.  Air support is working towards preventing the fire from reaching Highway 35. 

The west side of the fire is currently burning away from Highway 35.

The north finger of the fire is now approximately 11 km from the Northwest Territories border.

Due to heavy smoke throughout the day, firefighters have not been able to assess the north east boundary. The fire is expected to keep moving to the east and northeast direction but has not reached Indian Cabins at this time.  

  • There are 116 firefighters and support staff, 20 helicopters and 15 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.



For more information, please visit the Town of High Level Facebook page.


For information on the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement evacuation, please visit their Facebook page.


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

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