High Level Area Update

High Level Forest Area Update - May 29, 2024 at noon

Posted on Wed, May 29, 2024

 
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The wildfire danger in the High Level Forest Area is now HIGH.
 
Highway 35 and surrounding roads may be impacted by HTZ001 (Cameron Hills wildfire). We urge all motorists to check Alberta 511 before travelling in the area – allowing extra time in case of road closures. For up-to-date information on highway closures, visit Alberta 511 or download the app.

Please use caution when working or recreating outdoors and keep watch of your surroundings. Any spark, friction or hot exhaust could start a wildfire. If you see smoke or flame in the forest and suspect it's a wildfire, call 310-FIRE.


This update is best viewed on a web browser or the AB Wildfire Status App | To view previous High Level Forest Area Updates - Click hereBold indicates new or important information. 


 fire advisory wide

A fire advisory is in effect for the High Level Forest Area.

 
Under this advisory:

- Existing fire permits remain valid, but extension requests may not be granted.
- New permits will be issued on a case-by-case basis, for essential burning only.
- Campfires are allowed in both designated campgrounds and random camping areas.
- Fireworks and exploding targets are prohibited.
 
We encourage any landowners who have done burning over the winter and that have had past fire permits to revisit the burn location to ensure these fires are fully extinguished.
 
The fire advisory will remain in effect until conditions improve or further escalation is required.

If you see a wildfire, report it immediately by calling 310-FIRE.

To learn more about the Alberta Fire Ban System, check out our video or visit AlbertaFireBans.ca.


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        HTZ001 (Cameron Hills): Crews continue their hard work on the fire line.

 

HIGH LEVEL FOREST AREA | WILDFIRE SITUATION | MAY 29, 2024

There are currently 11 fires burning in the High Level Forest Area (HLFA). Of those wildfires, ten are classified as under control and one is classified as being held. Six of these under control wildfires are carry-over fires from the 2023 season. Additionally, there are three fires along borders: two shared with B.C. and one with the N.W.T.

Since January 1, 2024, there have been 37 wildfires in the HLFA, burning a total of 537 hectares (ha).

 

HTZ001 (Cameron Hills wildfire) is a mutual aid wildfire that originated in the border zone with the Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) in 2023. It is currently located near Indian Cabins, just south of the N.W.T. border. Crews worked on it into the fall and winter and the fire carried over into 2024. On May 10, the fire crossed Highway 35, near Indian Cabins and the Hay River, and on May 23 it spread north, crossing the border back into the N.W.T. It is estimated that since May 10, 29,980 hectares have burned, and the fire is now considered out of control. Please note that this affected area (29,980 ha) is not included in the total number of hectares indicated in the HLFA, as it is a mutual-aid wildfire with shared jurisdiction with the N.W.T.

Yesterday, containment lines held along the southern perimeter and along the highway. Crews continue to have success with various tactics including building dozer guard, laying hose line, finding, and extinguishing hot spots along the perimeter and using helibuckets. The priority remains mitigating the fire’s impact on values at risk, including Highway 35. 145 firefighters, 19 helicopters and 18 pieces of heavy equipment remain assigned to the incident.

Late in the day, significant growth was observed in the northeast corner near Swan Lake, close to the N.W.T. border. Two helicopters with night vision capabilities began working in the area. They worked throughout the night dropping water on hot spots, cooling down the areas where the crews will return this morning. This will permit the crews to better attain their objectives on the ground.

Today, a new Incident Management Team will transition with the team in place at the Steen River Incident Command Post. This is a regular practice where a fresh and rested team comes in to relieve their counterparts after approximately 14 days of deployment.

All suppression efforts along the N.W.T. border are coordinated with the N.W.T. government. Please see https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update for more information on their activities.

Today, a high of 18 C is expected along with a low relative humidity of 25% to 30%, north to northeast winds at 15-20 km/h, but gusting to 35 km/h and trace precipitation. A system bringing higher relative humidity and some precipitation is slowly moving into the area of the fire. While this will reduce the fire’s rate of spread and intensity, the gusting and changing winds will challenge containment lines.

Highway 35 and surrounding roads may be impacted. We urge all motorists to check Alberta 511 before travelling in the area—allowing extra time in case of road closures. For up-to-date information on highway closures, visit Alberta 511 or download the app.

We ask that the public stay away from the area as firefighters and aircraft continue their work containing the spread of the wildfire. DO NOT use drones in the surrounding area of the wildfire. If you're in the sky, we can't fly.

 

HWF021 is classified as being held, estimated to be 378 ha in size and now a part of MCX001 wildfire complex with the Fort McMurray Forest Area. There are no threats to infrastructure or communities at this time. This wildfire is being actioned by firefighters and will be extinguished.

 

CLASSIFICATIONS | To learn more about wildfire classifications, click here.

LOCATIONS | To view this wildfire on our interactive map, click here and follow the active wildfire link.

CARRY OVER WILDFIRES | There are seven carry over wildfires from the 2023 wildfire season. These fires are classified as under control (UC). High-level infrared scanning is being conducted by aircraft to determine if there are any other active spots in the forest area. The wildfires remaining on the landscape are being monitored for fire activity, and resources are being deployed to extinguish hotspots as they are discovered.

SMOKE CONCERNS | Smoke may be visible in the High Level Forest Area. To see forecasted smoke, you can visit FireSmoke.caIf you have smoke related health concerns, please contact Alberta 811.


wildfire app (2)

 

FIRE PERMITS REQUIRED

All burning within the Forest Protection Area of Alberta requires a burn permit, with the exception of campfire. At this time, the High Level Forest Area is not issuing any new burn permits and all existing permits have been suspended or cancelled.

High Level Forest Area | Permit Line - 780-926-5407. Stay informed of fire restrictions and fire bans in your area by checking Alberta Firebans



FIRESMART

More so than ever before, Canadians are feeling the direct and indirect impacts of wildfire. There is a growing need for FireSmart education. FireSmart Canada has developed a FREE one-hour course for those who are getting started with FireSmart and want to learn more. Follow the link by clicking here

  • Plan your high risk operations early in the morning when dew and humidity is higher in the dead grass and dry vegetation. Keep in mind that peak burning periods in our forest area are roughly between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Start from your headland (outer edge of the field) and work your way in. In the event a rock is struck and a spark is produced, the wildfire will be less likely to have vegetation to consume and easier to slow the spread.
  • Ensure you clear all combustible materials away from points of ignition. Near heat shields, exhausts and wheel wells.
  • Keep watch of your surroundings when working, you could accidently start a wildfire. Carry sufficient firefighting equipment and have a water source nearby.

To learn more on how you can protect your farm or acreage, you can also download the Farm and Acreage FireSmart magazine.


WILDFIRE INFORMATION

Download the Alberta Wildfire app today and get access to accurate, real-time information on wildfires in your area. You can also find information on fire advisories, restrictions and bans across the province and much more all on your mobile device. Available for Apple and Android.

Before heading out, please check albertafirebans.ca to determine whether there are any fire advisories, fire restrictions or fire bans in effect for your destination. 

Subscribe to the High Level Forest Area Update to receive an email when new information is posted. Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.


 

For more information, please contact:  

 
Melanie Morin
Wildfire Information Officer
SUPPORTING THE HIGH LEVEL FOREST AREA
 
Cell:  819-441-7006
   
 
 
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