The smoky haze may be gone from Calgary, but the wildfires in northern Alberta continue to burn.
The province’s largest wildfire, the Chuckegg Creek wildfire, has grown to 324,000 hectares as of a June 18 Government of Alberta update.
- Here's a look at the thunderstorms raging across Alberta (PHOTOS)
- Tornadoes a possibility during incoming severe thunderstorm
- Here's Calgary before and after the smokey haze (PHOTOS)
The Jackpot Creek wildfire north of Lutose is now at 75,000 hectares and the McMillan Wildfire Complex in the Slave Lake Forest area has reached over 275,000 hectares — over 10,000 hectares larger than it was earlier this week.
These fires have sparked new mandatory evacuations for the communities of Beaver First Nation (Boyer River No. 164 and Child Lake (No. 164A), Dene Tha’ First Nation – Bushe River (No. 207), the Trout Lake community of Peerless Trout First Nation, and the following areas within Mackenzie County:
- The Rocky Lane and High Level area north of the Peace River, south of Highway 58, west of Range Road 150
- The Hamlet of La Crete
- Range Road 164 to Range Road 150, south of the Peace River, north of Highway 697
In total, over 9,000 people are currently evacuated from their homes as a result of the fires.
The following communities remain on evacuation alert:
- High Level
- Mackenzie County
- Area west of Range Road 164, south of the Peace River to Township Road 1010, and the Machesis Lake campground
- MD of Lesser Slave River
- Lakeview Estates
- Hamlet of Widewater between the west entrance and Widewater Drive;
- Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
- Municipal District of Opportunity 17
- Hamlet of Wabasca-Desmarais
- Hamlet of Sandy Lake
- Hamlet of Chipewyan Lake
The regions of High Level, Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermilion, and Mackenzie Highway remain under an air quality advisory from Environment Canada.
Thunderstorms throughout the province may bring relief in the form of rain, though also bring the potential of new fires sparking from lightning strikes.
Albertans in affected regions are urged to remain alert and updated as the situation develops.