High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | June 27, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.

Posted on Thu, Jun 27, 2019


The Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction have been lifted and a Fire Advisory has been put in place. Use caution in the forested areas and report new wildfires by calling 310-FIRE(3473).


There are 5 active wildfires in the High Level Area. Of these fires; 2 are Out of Control (OC), 2 are Being Held (BH) and 1 is Under Control (UC). (For info regarding the Chuckegg Creek and the Jackpot Creek fires please see below for more info.) Click here for a map of all fire locations and their status within the High Level Forest Area.

Wildfires of note;

  • Fire number, HWF091, is classified as Being Held (BH) and is located approximately 5 km southeast of the community of Fox Lake at 196 hectares in size. There are 28 firefighters, with 3 helicopters and heavy equipment working on this fire.
  • Fire number, HWF088, is classified as Being Held (BH) and is located 10 km northwest of Hutch Lake. This fire is 216 hectares in size. Heavy equipment continues to establish a fireguard around the fire perimeter. There are 41 firefighters, 6 helicopters and heavy equipment working on this fire.

***The next update will be at 8:00 p.m., or if conditions change.

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.

HWF042_PublicMap_11x17_20190626 June 26


Due to minimal precipitation the drying trend continues. Today’s weather forecast is for a temperature high of 18°C with a relative humidity of around 45%. Winds will be out of the north-east 20 km/hr with 60% chance of precipitation.  It is expected that the fire behaviour will be active again today. Smoke will be visible from surrounding communities.

The eastern side of the Chuckegg Creek wildfire remains to be the most active. Yesterday all available helicopters worked to drop retardant and water on the eastern perimeter east of the Peace River and north/north west of Moose Island, and bucketed along the fire perimeter south of Surette Lake. There was no growth to this wildfire. Dozer groups are building a guard from Peace River towards the Boyer River Cell Tower close to the fire perimeter, and feller bunchers with a skidder are working to open a contingency guard south of Devil and Surette Lakes. The equipment building the contingency guard will be working 24 hours a day.  An additional dozer guard will be going in on the west side of the Peace River, northwest of Moose Island. On the east side and on southeast, firefighters continue extinguishing hotspots and mopping-up 100 feet from the guard into the fire. They are also working to extinguish the spot fire (from June 17th) located south of Surette Lake and just north of the Peace River.

From the southwest side and moving north, crews will continue to build dozer guard that is followed by firefighters laying hose and mopping-up to reinforce the guard. Firefighters working with local structural firefighters continue to mop-up and patrol the Paddle Prairie area. On the west side, coming from the north, additional firefighters are building heli-pads for access and setting up pumps. They continue to patrol the fire perimeter, mop-up inwards 100 feet and extinguish hotspots.

Due to the hard work of the firefighters, the north end of the wildfire only has a few hotspots remaining. They are working to finish mopping-up 100 feet into the fire perimeter.

Fire department resources in conjunction with wildland firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Highway 35.  Structure protection units remains in place as a precautionary measure, in the Blue Hills and La Crete area. These structure protection units are being monitored.

  • The fire is 330,972 hectares in size. 
  • There are 1,179 firefighters and personnel, 46 helicopters and 206 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.


In the interest of safety for both firefighters and helicopters, firefighting operations sometimes need to be halted. An unexpected cold and wet weather front descended on the Jackpot Creek Fire this morning which brought firefighting operations to a standstill. Low cloud ceilings make helicopter flight dangerous or impossible which stops bucketing and crew movement operations. The weather will be monitored for the day and based on periodic reassessments, crews may be deployed later in the day if there is a favourable break in the weather.

The precipitation is always welcome as it will aid firefighters in their suppression efforts. Fire crews have been working on this fire for a month as of today (the Jackpot Creek Fire was first discovered on May 27th).  

  • The fire is 79,834 hectares in size.
  • There are 189 firefighters and personnel, 22 helicopters and 5 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.

danger tree ash pit

Use Extreme Caution in Burnt Forested Areas: The picture above shows a section of the forest that has been burnt over. For anyone who enjoys walking through the forest, there are several dangers that are present in a burnt over area that you should be aware of including:

Ash Pits: In areas where there is a deep forest floor or around large trees with vast root systems, wildfires can burn deep into the ground. In some of these areas, the ash accumulates in the hole and leaves the appearance that the hole is level ground. This causes not only trip and fall hazards but also a potential burn hazard if the lower section of the pit still contains fire or embers and a passerby happens to step/fall into it.

Danger Trees: Trees, in some cases, can burn up through the centre leaving only a narrow section of the trunk actually holding the tree up. These trees then become a hazard as they are very prone to falling over either just over time or when pushed by the wind. Trees can also become unstable if the wildfire burns into the layers of the earth and consumes a tree’s roots, leaving the tree standing with very little support.




The Fire Ban and the Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction for the High Level Forest Area has been lifted effective June 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. and a Fire Advisory has been put in place, due to a high hazard and local fire activity.

  • Safe Campfires are currently allowed, but may be restricted in the coming days if weather conditions change.
  • Current seasonal permits issued until October 31, 2019 are permitted.
  • New permits will only be issued for smudges, burn barrels and light debris yard clean up.

To get a fire permit please call 780-926-5407 and leave a detailed message with your home location, burn location and what you plan to burn. A patrolman will collect your info and call you to set up a visit.

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


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.


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.


Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer | High Level Forest Area

Mobile: 780-841-9387 



Rosalie MacAulay | Wildfire Information Officer | Chuckegg Creek Wildfire

Phone: 780-653-0151 ext. 1052