When visiting Alberta's backcountry, please be safe around campfires. Remember, even a small campfire has the potential to become a wildfire.
• Never leave your campfire unattended, even for a few minutes
• Always make sure your campfire is out. Soak it, stir up the ashes and soak it again
• Always have enough water nearby to keep your campfire under control
Did you know? The Southern Alberta Prairie Fire of December 14, 1997 was started by a burn barrel. The barrel was screened but left briefly unattended. A sudden wind gust tipped it over.
• Six homes and barns were destroyed
• Five small bridges were burned
• Many outbuildings, water tanks, corrals and haystacks were lost
• One hundred and twenty head of livestock were killed
• Many miles of fencing and some powerlines were destroyed
Locations of other fires in Alberta over the weekend
A wildfire near Peace River forced cleanup operations at the site of a huge oil pipeline spill last month to be suspended. Plains Midstream Canada, the pipeline operator, said the decision to remove their staff was made after county officials issued an evacuation order Sunday morning.
The company said it had also shut the flow on its Rainbow pipeline, which carries crude from its Nipisi terminal to Edmonton, as a precaution.
The Lubicon Lake Nation, which is near the area, has evacuated elders, women, children and people with health conditions.
A fire on Saturday that forced the evacuation of Crimson Lake Provincial Park, which is about 150 km southwest of Edmonton, has now been contained and people have been allowed to return. The fire burned about 50 hectares.
Province to hold news conference on emergency response plans @ 10:30 a.m. MST. Details will be posted here as they come in.
Norther Alberta communities currently under evacuation alert:
Bigstone Creek nation
City supports Slave Lake evacuees
Edmonton Disaster Social Services and Edmonton Fire Rescue Services will provide updates on the City of Edmonton’s support to the Province in fighting wildfires in Northern Alberta and efforts to assist residents evacuated from the Town of Slave Lake and surrounding area.
Date: Monday, May 16, 2011
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: Northlands, Edmonton Expo Centre (7515-118 Ave), Room 109
Media will be provided an opportunity to gather video/photos of the private, temporary shelter area for the evacuated residents.
Expo Centre not accepting donations at this time. Edmonton Emergency Relief Centre accepting donations of bedding, unopened toiletries, towels, etc. Items can be dropped off after 10:00 a.m. at 10255 104 St. Call 780-428-4422 for more information. Red Cross also accepting donations. The Alberta arm of the Red Cross is accepting donations for displaced residents. You can donate by calling 1-800-418-1111.
Looking for friends or family displaced by Slave Lake fires? Try Emergency Information Reunification Line @ 780-523-3388.
Report a Wildfire: Call 310-FIRE (3473) toll free anywhere in Alberta
Albertans can call toll-free 310-4455 to access current information about the wildfire situation such as Red Cross information, highway closures, phone numbers, and what websites to visit for more information.
Slave Lake wildfire forces evacuation of hospital
SLAVE LAKE – All patients (29) and staff were safely evacuated from Slave Lake General Hospital Sunday evening, after a wildfire swept into the town.
Alberta Health Services enacted its evacuation procedures as soon as it became apparent that the hospital was threatened. Slave Lake physicians and staff safely evacuated the facility, and patients were taken by EMS to health care facilities in other communities.
Slave Lake fires a "significant disaster."
Government officials say to call 1-800-310-4455 for access to current wildfire information.
Wildfire Information Officer Rob Harris addressing media now. Watch live stream above.
Wildfire Information Officer Rob Harris expects another windy day today, lightning strikes possible Tuesday/Wednesday.
Slave Lake mayor Karrina Pillay-Kinnee has joined the province's news conference via phone.
Most loss has occurred in SE portion of community. Numerous homes destroyed.
Mayor of Slave Lake credits province for help in firefighting and evacuation efforts.
Statement from David Swann, Alberta Liberal leader: My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Slave Lake, who at this moment are enduring the worst natural disaster to ever hit their community – indeed, one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit this province. Thankfully no lives have been lost, and for that I commend the men and women fighting the wildfires, emergency services workers, and most of all the people of Slave Lake, who have reacted with calm, intelligence and determination.
Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition stands with Premier Stelmach to ensure that those affected by the fires will receive the help they need as quickly as possible.
Already Albertans across the province are coming together to provide support. We remind all Albertans that the Red Cross is accepting donations to help displaced residents of Slave Lake. You can donate by calling 1.800.418.1111.
In times of crisis, Albertans never fail to unite as one people. Together, we will get through this; together, we will rebuild.
Red Cross update: Evacuation centres have been set up at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Westlock, Alberta and in Athabasca, south of Slave Lake. The shelter in Athabasca is full. The shelter in Westlock has some space left. A second shelter can be set up in Westlock if needed.