High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | July 3, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.

Posted on Wed, Jul 03, 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)


There are currently 5 active wildfires in the High Level Area. Of these fires, 1 is Out of Control (OC), 2 are Being Held (BH) and 2 are Under Control (UC). (See below for details on the Chuckegg Creek and the Jackpot Creek wildfires).

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

Wildfires of note:

  • 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 25 firefighters, 6 helicopters and heavy equipment working on this fire.

NOTE: The next update will be by 7:00 p.m., or if conditions warrant.

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


Today’s forecast is for temperature highs of 18°C with a low relative humidity of around 45%. The winds are expected to be from the north-west at 15-20km/hr with a small chance of showers. With the recent weather and minimal amount of precipitation recorded on the wildfire, the available fuels continue to dry and fire behaviour will increase today in areas of unburnt fuels, especially on the east side (finger). In anticipation of challenging fire behaviour, this morning, air tankers will be dropping a retardant line from the established contingency line south of Devil Lake, moving south towards the fire perimeter. If conditions permit, planned ignitions will be conducted to remove the unburnt fuel located west of the retardant line towards Peace River.

This afternoon if conditions permit, firefighters will also be conducting ignition operations to remove unburnt fuels in the vicinity of the Boyer River Cell Tower. It is not expected that Highway 35 will be closed intermittently due to smoke but the RCMP will be in the area should visibility become an issue. Please visit 511-Alberta for any possible alerts. Smoke from the wildfire behaviour and the planned ignitions (if they are conducted) will be visible from surrounding communities.

With the progress in the north, west, south, and north/south ends of the east side, infrared scanning from helicopters is expected to continue. This process identifies thermal infrared radiation from areas that are still smoldering which are also known as hot spots, and is important to ensure that these areas are cold and no fire continues to burn. Some of the areas to be scanned are close to residential areas and helicopters may be in the area early in the mornings.

The northern end of the wildfire is fully guarded and mop-up is complete. An infrared scan was conducted on the north perimeter down the west side to Highway 58 and a small number of hot spots were identified. Firefighters have extinguished these hot spots. This area will be monitored from the air. 

On the west side, the guard is complete and firefighters continue with direct attack extinguishing hot spots and mopping-up 100 feet inward south of Highway 58. The mop-up of this area is expected to be complete in the next few days. In the south west mop-up and extinguishing hot spots is ongoing and it is expected this area will be in monitor/patrol status soon. A scan was completed from the west side into the Paddle Prairie area and some hot spots were identified. If necessary, structural firefighters will continue to extinguish these spots.

In the southern end of the wildfire, it is at the monitor and patrol stage. In the south east, firefighters will continue to extinguish hot spots identified by an infrared scan.  On the north east side, it is also in monitor and patrol status.  The contingency guard south of Devil and Surette Lakes is now complete. The dozer guard along the fire perimeter located from the Peace River towards the Boyer River Cell Tower is expected to be completed in the next few days. The direct attack dozer guard tight along the fire perimeter, located on the west side of the Peace River and northwest of Moose Island, has gone as far as it can with the existing water delivery systems.  An in-direct attack heavy equipment guard parallel to the fire perimeter is expected to be completed by early afternoon and firefighters will be working to establish a water delivery system using large agriculture pumps, sprinklers and hose line. Yesterday, helicopters continuous worked dropping water and retardant along the fire perimeters on the east side (finger), west of the Peace River, and the operations will continue today. 

The existing structure protection remains in place as a precautionary measure and are being monitored. For the next two days structural firefighters will be conducting training operations in rural areas north and southwest of
La Crete.

  • The fire remains 330,500 hectares in size; remains classified as Out of Control (OC)
  • There are 1,011 firefighters and support staff, 46 helicopters and 145 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.



A major portion of the Jackpot Creek fire is now in the mop up stage. Crews still have a few small areas where hot spots are being tended to, a majority of these being on the Northwest flank along the Hay River and a few areas on the Northeast side where the fire burned deep into surface fuels.

The warm, sunny morning weather is giving crews an opportunity to get a good start on the day. The weather forecast for later in the day, however, is calling for possible showers or thundershowers as an upper trough moves in from the Northwest Territories. This trough will produce similar weather patterns to those that have been in the area for the past few days; possibility of showers, temperatures in the high teens and relative humidity in the 50% range.

  • The fire is 79,834 hectares in size; classified as Being Held (BH)
  • There are 235 firefighters and support staff, 9 helicopters and 2 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.



A Fire Advisory remains in effect due to ongoing wildfire activity within the High Level Forest Area.

  • Safe Campfires are currently allowed
  • Current seasonal permits issued until October 31, 2019 remain valid
  • New permits will only be issued for:
    • smudges
    • burn barrels
    • light yard debris
    • root piles/rows

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.


There are currently 17 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area: 1 is Out of Control, 2 is Being Held, 10 are Under Control and 4 have been Turned Over to the responsible parties.

Since March 1, there have been 697 wildfires that have burned 804,322.45 hectares in the Forest Protection Area.


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.


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. 


Matthew Anderson | Wildfire Information Officer | High Level Forest Area 



Rosalie MacAulay | Wildfire Information Officer | Chuckegg Creek Wildfire

Phone: 780-653-0151 ext. 1052