High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Wildfire Update | July 4, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Posted on Thu, Jul 04, 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), 3 are Being Held (BH) and 1 is 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 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, 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 the wildfire received scattered precipitation which kept the fire behaviour low for today.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for warmer temperature and lower minimum relative humidity.  The expected high is 22°C with a minimum relative humidity of 35%.  The forecasted winds are from the south-east 10km/hr with no precipitation.  The forecasted outlook is for a drying trend with higher temperatures and lower minimum relative humidity which will lead to further drying of available unburnt forest.  This will be especially true for the eastern side, west of La Crete.  On the east side, firefighters contained the spot fires that previously breached the fire perimeter.  Helicopters continued to drop retardant and water on the fire perimeters closest to the Peace River.  Due to the scattered showers the wildfire received today, the conditions did not permit firefighters to conduct the planned ignition operations.  As part of pre-planning for increased fire behaviour and if there is a need for interface firefighting east of the Peace River, a staging area for wildfire and structure protection assets has been set up on the La Crete Cultural Heritage grounds.  An additional structural task force team arrived today and consists of two engines, a water truck, and eight structural firefighters.

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 are extinguishing remaining 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 southwest, hoselay, mop-up and extinguishing hot spots is ongoing and it is expected this area will be in monitor/patrol status by the end of the day tomorrow.   Infrared scanning has identified hot spots in the Paddle Prairie area.  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 southeast, firefighters will continue to extinguish hot spots identified by infrared scanning.  On the northeast 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 line 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 now complete and firefighters will be working to establish a water delivery system using large agriculture pumps, sprinklers and hose line.

The structure protection remains in place as a precautionary measure and are being monitored.   It is expected tomorrow, structural firefighters will continue 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 1,026 firefighters and support staff, 46 helicopters and 158 pieces of heavy equipment working on this fire.



NOTE: With the status change to Being Held (BH), this will be the last detailed activity report.

The upper trough from the Northwest Territories remains over the province today, continuing with the same weather patterns as the last few days with the exception of lighter winds. Temperatures are expected to reach a high of 19° with the chance of showers or thunderstorms continuing.

Aerial infrared scanning will begin again today, identifying any remaining hot spots. Crews will continue with mop up operations and will work on any identified hot spots. A few pieces of heavy equipment will remain at the fire to assist firefighters in their mop up efforts. The focus for this morning remains on a few spots on the Northwest and Northeast sides of the fire.

  • 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 16 wildfires in the Forest Protection Area: 1 is Out of Control, 3 are Being Held, 9 are Under Control and 3 have been Turned Over to the responsible parties.

Since March 1, there have been 698 wildfires that have burned 804,322.55 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 



Victoria Ostendorf | Wildfire Information Officer | Chuckegg Creek Wildfire

Phone: 780-841-9387