Peace River Area Update

Peace River Forest Area Update - May 20, 2019

Posted on Sun, May 19, 2019


The wildfire danger is EXTREME in the Peace River Forest Area.  RED FLAG WEATHER WARNING IN EFFECT.

Fire 52 experienced aggressive fire behavior this afternoon due to weather conditions.  The fire crossed the Hotchkiss River and the Chin Road this afternoon moving northward in a long finger. The fire also crossed the powerline north of the Chin Road. More details below.

Chin Road is closed to traffic.  Smoke or active fire could make travel in this area unsafe.  Please avoid this area.

We are experiencing extreme wildfire weather.  For the next several days the temperature is going to be equal to or greater than the humidity levels and the winds are going to be very strong and gusty.  The forest area is extremely dry.  Any fires that start will spread quickly and be very difficult to contain.

We are under a RED FLAG WEATHER WARNING.  This means a weather event tomorrow is expected that will pose a critical degree of danger to fireline personnel and the public.  Tomorrow’s deep crossover position (temp higher than humidity) and winds mean fire behavior will be drastically impacted by the weather. There is potential for significant growth on the fire tomorrow. 





Due to extreme wildfire danger from dry grass and weather indicators, a Fire Ban and Quad Restriction is now in effect for the Peace River Forest Area and most of northern Alberta.  Visit for more information.

Existing fire permits are suspended until further notice. 


  • 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.
  • OHVs for industrial use, agricultural use, and traditional use by Indigenous peoples, as well as use on private lands. 

The Fire Ban and Off-Highway Vehicle Restriction will remain in effect until conditions improve. 

To view a map of the Fire Ban/OHV Restriction visit

Many nearby municipalities have advisories, restrictions or firebans in place.  Please check for more information.



There have been 60 wildfires in the Peace River Forest Area this fire season, and each of these wildfires has now been extinguished with the exception of those below:


Battle Complex (Notikewin and Battle River wildfires):

 Map available tomorrow.

  • PWF 052 remains out of control in the Notikewin Area. The fire is about 8600 hectares.
    • This fire is located approximately 10 kilometers northwest of the town of Manning.  Extreme dry weather conditions and strong and gusty winds accelerated fire behavior again today
    • This fire crossed the Chin Road this afternoon, making it’s way northward in a long, skinny finger.  The fire crossed the powerline.
    • The fire is also moving westward from it’s north boundary and parallel with but south of the Chin Road, further west from the midpoint on the west side, as well as a bit eastward along the existing flank.
    • Crews worked hard again today to limit the spread as much as possible.  Tankers worked from early this morning until they became ineffective late this afternoon.  Ignition teams developed strategies, tested, and burned in strategic locations to try to control the spread and direction of the fire.  These efforts will continue into the evening.  Heavy equipment and crews, supported by helicopters with buckets, worked to strengthen guard along the south east and south west parts of the fire as well as on the mid-west flank of the fire.
    • Camps and facilities have been evacuated along the Chin Road.  This road is closed to traffic.  Smoke and potential fire crossing could make travel unsafe in this area.
    • Crews will attack this fire again early tomorrow morning.  Most crews will focus on securing the southeast flank of the fire and the south/southwest tip of the fire, where it will be safer to work.  The intent is to continue to focus on the east side of the fire, strengthening guard and extinguishing hot spots to keep burning embers from escaping. 
    • As it is safe to do so tomorrow, before the winds pick up, airtankers and aerial crews will work near the head of the fire and in the areas of growth from today along the flanks.
  • PWF 054 remains being held at 74 hectares in size in the Battle River area.  Smoke was visible from burning trees and hotspots within the fire perimeter today.   This fire is surrounded by dozer guard. Crews will work again tomorrow with pumps and hoses, moving inward from the perimeter to make sure all hotspots are extinguished. We don't want any embers left that could be carried by the wind and start another wildfire. .


Today we had more than 225 firefighters, 19 helicopters, six dozer units, water trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment working on the wildfires.

The forecast for tonight is for a low of 8 degrees, humidity of 35-45% and SE winds 15-20 Km/hr gusting 30-35 km/hr by 6am.  This means there will be little recovery overnight for the fire and we can assume fire behavior will pick up even earlier tomorrow than it did today.

The forecast for tomorrow is a RED FLAG WARNING day.  This means a weather event tomorrow is expected that will pose a critical degree of danger to fireline personnel and the public.  Tomorrow’s deep crossover position (temp higher than humidity) and winds mean fire behavior will be drastically impacted by the weather.  The forecast for tomorrow is for a high of 24 degrees, relative humidity of 10%, winds SE 25-30 gusting 40-50 km/hr.  These conditions mean there is potential for significant growth on the fire tomorrow.  Winds will prevent crews and equipment from working directly on parts of the wildfire for safety reasons.  Under the above conditions, we can expect wildfire to travel 8 km per hour in grass and 3-4 km/hr in trees.  With these winds spotting will be prolific and embers will travel a great distance.

These weather conditions are expected to continue until Friday.  Winds may be slightly lighter on Tuesday and Wednesday.  On Friday there is potential for a temperature drop and a windshift to north winds.

Tomorrow is going to be a very significant day for the Battle Complex.  Safety of our firefighters and the public is of paramount importance.  When and if the head of the fire becomes too intense to work on, we will redirect crews and equipment to safer areas, while we continue to work on areas of the fire that need strengthening in anticipation of north winds at the end of the week.

Battle Complex Map 

For updates on efforts being taken by municipal fire fighters to provide structural protection and emergency preparedness information, please visit the County of Northern Lights website.


  • PWF 043 has been turned over to the landowner at 0.50 hectares.
  • PWF 047 has been turned over to the landowner at 0.01 hectares.
  • PWF 058 has been turned over to the landowner at 0.01 hectares.
  • PWF 062 is under control at just under two hectares.
  • PWF 064 has been turned over to the landowner .01 hectares.
  • PWF 066 is under control at just over 10 hectares (we expect this fire to downgrade to being held later tonight).
  • PWF 067 is under control at .01.

For your safety and the safety of the numerous firefighters working to contain these wildfires, please stay out of the area if you do not need to be there.

For information on the wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit:



 Fire permits have been suspended, effective 1800 hours, May 16.  

Call the Peace River Forest Area office at 780-624-6190 if you have any questions about fire permits.



Please respect the fire ban and quad restriction currently in effect.  



You can protect your home from wildfire

Protecting your home from wildfire starts with simple actions. Whether you are doing regular yard maintenance or making large scale changes during renovations or landscaping, you can make choices that will help protect your home from wildfire.

Learn more at





Or contact:

Leslie Lozinski 

Wildfire Information Officer

(780) 623-9758