High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | June 20, 2019 at 11 a.m.

Posted on Thu, Jun 20, 2019


The Chuckegg and Jackpot Creek Wildfires Remain Out of Control. Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction Continues. Report new fires by calling 310-FIRE(3473).

hwf088 june 20 am

(Areal photo showing fire behaviour on fire HWF088, northwest of Hutch Lake)


There are 7 active wildfires in the High Level Area. Of these fires; 4 are Out of Control (OC), 2 are Being Held (BH) and 1 is Under Control (UC). (For info regarding Chuckegg and the Jackpot fire please see below.)

Wildfires of note;

  • Fire number, HWF091, is classified as out of control and is located approximately 5 km southeast of the community of Fox Lake, north of the Fox Lake at 20 hectares in size. Winds are out of the northwest pushing the fire in a southeast direction. Firefighters along with air support from airtankers and a helicopter with a water bucket have responded to this fire.
  • Fire number, HWF088, is classified as Out of Control and is located 10 km northwest of Hutch Lake. This fire is approximately 150 hectares in size.  The fire saw minimal growth, as airtankers were able to support firefighters on the ground. Heavy equipment is also working to establish a fire guard around the fire perimeter. 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. Alberta Transportation is on site monitoring smoke concerns on the highway. There are 25 firefighters, two helicopters and airtankers working on this fire.
  • Fire number, HWF090, is classified as Being Held at 6 hectares.  There are 9 firefighters and 1 helicopter is working towards extinguishing this fire. The fire is located 35 km northeast of Meander River.

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.

Be prepared, stay informed.  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.



The east side of the fire, north of the Peace River has not experienced as much growth as predicted due to calmer winds.  The fire pushed a bit north and is now about 5 km south of Devil Lake and about 3 km southwest of Surette Lake. Heavy equipment was been hard at work to create dozer guards tying in to the gravel road network. They have done a good job of creating a line of defense from just south of the Town of High Level at Highway 35 to south of Eleske. 

On the east side, the fire has advanced about a kilometer northeast and about three kilometers east.  Good progress was made on the spot fire that crossed the river late last night. Tankers worked on this spot fire this morning, laying retardant on both sides of the river.  Helicopters with buckets worked the fire, and heavy equipment put a dozer guard in across the oxbow to help prevent spread or to back burn from under the right conditions. The fire is about three kilometers back from the river, at the closest point, west of La Crete.  The forecast for tomorrow is calling for strong and gusty west winds these conditions could challenge firefighters.

  • The north side of the fire is looking 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.  North winds will be favorable for this area for the next few days.
  • The fire was quieter on the west side today.  Crews and heavy equipment continue to work along this edge to remove vegetation from along the perimeter.  Heavy equipment continued to work in the southwest corner strengthening the defensible space around the Chain Pond area. Winds will be favorable in this area tomorrow, however winds will switch to N/NE on Sat and Sun.
  • The area around Paddle Prairie is smoky but ground fire is under control.  There is still a significant amount of smoke in the area and residents can expect to see smoke and smouldering hotspots for weeks to come. Trees are falling and present danger hazards due to root burn. Northerly winds for the next four days may knock trees down and blow smoke into this community. 
  • On the southeast part of the fire, east of the Peace River, there continues to be lots of smoke from burning in windrows and peaty soils.  There were no spots across the river so far today.  This area is now under Evacuation Order.  With winds from the N/NW at 20 gusting to 35-45 overnight, we are concerned about the potential for the fire to cross the river or spot across into this area.  In addition to strong overnight winds, the winds from tomorrow are predicted to be N/NW 25 to 35 gusting to 50 km/hr.  This area will be under careful scrutiny.
  • The structure protection unit made good progress again 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, west of LaCrete, in the Blue Hills area and the Beaver First Nations area.  Heavy water protection was completed at Norbord yesterday and we are working on Tolko today.  This unit will work through the night patrolling and deploying structure protection.
  • The fire is now 325, 334 hectares.
  • There are 851 firefighters and personnel, 46 helicopters, 153 pieces of heavy equipment.


Heavy equipment and firefighters have established a fireguard on the southeast side of the fire as well as the west side of the Hay River on the north part of the fire.  Air support continues to support firefighters by working to prevent the fire from reaching Highway 35, and with current conditions they continue to be effective. Firefighters are working on extinguishing hotspots on the west side of the fire in priority areas. The fire continues to hold in the southwest and on the north side, west of Hay River.  

  • The west side of the fire is currently burning away from Highway 35. The north part of the fire is approximately 11 km from the Northwest Territories border.
  • The weather forecast for today is calling for northwest winds therefore, the fire is expected to grow in an east to southeast direction. Indian cabins has not been impacted at this time and structure protection has been established.
  • There are 137 firefighters and personnel, 23 heavy equipment pieces and 14 helicopters working on this fire.




For information regarding evacuations or alerts, please visit the Town of High Level Facebook page.


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


Mackenzie County residents looking for information regarding evacuations and alerts please visit the Mackenzie County Facebook page.


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.



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.


Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer | High Level Forest Area

Mobile: 780-841-9387 



Leslie Lozinski | Wildfire Information Officer | Chuckegg Creek Wildfire

Phone: 780-653-0151 ext. 1052