The out-of-control wildfire in Alberta’s northwest, known as the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire, has grown larger than the entire City of Calgary, according to a Thursday update from the Government of Alberta.
Responsible for the mandatory evacuation of High Level and surrounding areas, the wildfire has been burning non-stop throughout the past week.
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Albertan firefighters, along with assistance from other provinces, have been working to contain the fire and protect the town, though hot and dry conditions have only worsened the situation.
The wildfire has grown to almost 92,000 hectares, according to the update. To put that into perspective, the City of Calgary sits at roughly 825 square kilometres, which equals out to around 82,500 hectares of land.
The fire is burning a mere three kilometres south of High Level (it was 5 km south as of Wednesday), though 148 wildland firefighters, 154 structural fighters and staff, 28 helicopters and air tankers, and 10 structural protection units are currently deployed to battle the flames and protect the now-evacuated area.
On Tuesday, May 21, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney visited the area to meet with local authorities following a promise of provincial assistance on the situation.
Very impressed by all of those working together to keep people safe from the forest fire in the High Level area. Mayor McAteer, Dene Tha Chief Ahnassy, @AlbertaWildfire & other emergency personnel are doing everything they can under tough circumstances. They’re #AlbertaStrong. pic.twitter.com/Z2GVZmxMxJ
— Jason Kenney (@jkenney) May 22, 2019
In a statement earlier this week, Kenney noted that the majority of the wildfires that have been seen in Alberta so far this season are believed to have been human-caused and that all Albertans are warned against the improper disposal of cigarettes and other flammable objects.
Thunderstorms are forecast for Thursday and Friday, though no precipitation is expected to help calm the out-of-control fire.