This page contains an archive of information updates released by Parks Canada.

    May 2023
    Fire update: May 31, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Current Fire Danger – Extreme

    Moving forward, please be advised that updates on confirmed fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 10:00 a.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. Two new fires have been confirmed since yesterday’s update.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 is located 15 km southwest of Pine Lake. It is currently estimated to be approximately 1400 hectares. There are four air tankers, one helicopter, a water tender, one dozer and five fire personnel responding to this fire. Today, a fire crew continues work to hold the northeastern flank, with help from tankers and bucketing. The weather will continue to provide challenging conditions for suppression efforts today, with a thunderstorm expected in the area this afternoon. Heavy equipment was brought in yesterday and was successful at renewing one fire break around the Pine Lake area. They will continue to refresh other older fire guards in the area today. All traffic is restricted south of Kettle Point Access Road. Please follow the area closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Kettle Point to Peace Point.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. The Paskwa Wildfire is classified as out of control and its last recorded size was 86,194 hectares. Over the last two days, winds, and extreme fire behaviour, pushed the fire further east in Wood Buffalo National Park. Protecting the community of Garden River is the top priority for the Alberta Wildfire Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire. The IMT is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River.

     

    New confirmed fires:

    • Fire 13 is located near Big Slough, 4 km north of the Peace River and is currently 0.2 hectares. Structure protection was placed on at-risk cabins in the area on Monday evening and visited again by a fire crew yesterday. This fire is close to Fire 8 and Fire 9 and is being monitored by fire personnel.
    • Fire 14 is located at Davidson Lake and is currently 3,000 hectares. It is being monitored and structure protection will be installed on values in the area as required.
    • Moving forward, Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14 will be reported together as the Davidson Complex.

     

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 8 and 9 are located near Davidson Lake in the southwestern area of Wood Buffalo National Park, approximately 32km east of Garden River. Fire 8 is approximately 950 hectares, while Fire 9 is 6,000 hectares. On May 29, fire personnel put structure protection on at-risk cabins in the area. These fires are being monitored closely.
    • Fire 7 is 60 hectares and located approximately 15 km northwest of Pine Lake. Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel are monitoring this fire. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 10 is located 5.8 km north of Mamawi Lake and was last measured at approximately 10 hectares. This fire is within a wetland landscape and is surrounded by water features. Fire personnel are monitoring.
    • Fire 11 is around 12 km southwest of Isidore Lake and 60 km northeast of Garden River. It is approximately 760 hectares and is being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 12 is along the middle, southern border of the park and is currently estimated to be 9,700 hectares. Fire personnel are monitoring the fire and will place structure protection around values if required.
    • Fire 3 and Fire 4 are located in the lower southwestern area of the park. Fire 3 is approximately 4,000 hectares and Fire 4 is approximately one hectare. Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel are monitoring these fires. Structure protection will be put in place around cabins and other values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires estimated at around 0.2 and 0.5 hectares (respectively), located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road, 8km from the Salt River Day Use Area. On May 29, crews were successful at containing these fires and they are now classified as Under Control. Yesterday, a fire crew began to wind down operations on these fires. They will begin to patrol the fires tomorrow and work toward confirming full extinguishment.

     

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park are creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection more difficult.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Kettle Point Access Road to Peace Point is CLOSED due to reduced visibility and conditions from an active wildfire in the area. The closure is effective May 29, 2023 until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is forecasted to range in the low to mid 20s today, with a 30% chance of showers in the Fort Smith area. In certain areas of the park, there is a risk of thunderstorms with anticipated higher wind risk. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

     

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires and are expected in the southern area of the park. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

     

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: May 30, 2023 – 2:00 p.m. MT

    Current Fire Danger – Extreme

    There are currently six active fires in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 is located 18 km southwest of Pine Lake. It is currently estimated to be approximately 1,400 hectares. There are four air tankers, one helicopter, a water tender and five fire personnel responding to this fire. A fire crew is working to hold the northeastern flank, with help from tankers and bucketing. The weather today and yesterday, coupled with prolonged drought periods this winter and spring, is providing challenging conditions for suppression efforts. Heavy equipment is being brought in to help reinforce older fire breaks around the Pine Lake area. All traffic is restricted south of Kettle Point Access Road. Please follow the area closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Kettle Point to Peace Point. is located approximately 20km southwest of Pine Lake. It is currently estimated to be 90 hectares. There are two aircraft, a water tender and one fire crew responding to this fire. People travelling in the area may experience poor visibility and are asked to be aware and attentive to staff working in the area.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 16, 2023. The Paskwa Wildfire is currently 85,600 hectares and classified as out of control. Over the last two days, winds, and extreme fire behaviour, pushed the fire further east in Wood Buffalo National Park. Protecting the community of Garden River is the top priority for the Alberta Wildfire Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire. The IMT is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. Garden River is currently on an evacuation alert and residents will be notified as the situation evolves.

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 8 and 9 are located near Davidson Lake in the southwestern area of Wood Buffalo National Park, approximately 30km east of Garden River. Fire 8 is approximately 950 hectares, while Fire 9 is 6,000 hectares. Last night, fire personnel put structure protection on at-risk cabins in the area. These fires are being monitored closely, and additional structure protection will be installed on values in the area as required.
    • Fire 7 is 60 hectares and located approximately 18km northwest of Pine Lake. Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel are monitoring this fire. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 10 is located 5.8km north of Mamawi Lake and was last measured at approximately 10 hectares. This fire is within a wetland landscape and is surrounded by water features. Fire personnel are monitoring.
    • Fire 11 is around 12 km southwest of Isidore Lake and 60km northeast of Garden River. It is approximately 760 hectares and is being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 3 and Fire 4 are located in the lower southwestern area of the park. Fire 3 is approximately 4,000 hectares and Fire 4 is approximately one hectare. Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel are monitoring these fires. Structure protection will be put in place around cabins and other values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires estimated at around 0.2 and 0.5 hectares (respectively), located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road, 8km from the Salt River Day Use Area. Yesterday, crews were successful at containing these fires and they are now classified as Under Control.

     

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park are creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection more difficult.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Kettle Point Access Road to Peace Point is CLOSED due to reduced visibility and conditions from an active wildfire in the area. The closure is effective May 29, 2023 until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is forecasted to remain in the low 20s through this week, with higher winds today and a risk of a thunderstorm for this afternoon and evening. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: May 29, 2023 – 2:00 p.m. MT

    Current Fire Danger – Extreme

    There are currently six active fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. Active Fires

    • Fire 2 is located approximately 20km southwest of Pine Lake. It is currently estimated to be 90 hectares. There are two aircraft, a water tender and one fire crew responding to this fire. People travelling in the area may experience poor visibility and are asked to be aware and attentive to staff working in the area.
    • Fire 3 and Fire 4 are located in the lower southwestern area of the park. Fire 3 is approximately 3,000 hectares and Fire 4 is approximately one hectare. Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel are monitoring these fires. Structure protection will be put in place around cabins and other values in the area if needed.
    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires estimated at around 0.2 and 0.5 hectares (respectively), located 8km from the Salt River Day Use Area, off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road. Two Parks Canada fire crews and one supporting helicopter are responding to these fires and bucketing as required.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary two weeks ago. The Paskwa Wildfire is currently 78,125 hectares and classified as out of control. The Alberta Wildfire Incident Management Team managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect the community of Garden River. Wood Buffalo National Park is supporting Alberta Wildfire to ensure the protection of people, infrastructure, and values-at-risk. Garden River is currently on an evacuation alert and residents will be notified as the situation evolves.

    Information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park is posted to our website. Refer here for updates throughout the season.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    There are no area closures in Wood Buffalo National Park. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    For information related to visitor services and facilities, please contact the Visitor Centre at (867) 872-7960.

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is forecasted to remain in the low 20s through this week, with higher winds today and a risk of a thunderstorm for this afternoon and evening. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: May 18, 2023

    There is currently one active wildfire within Wood Buffalo National Park.

    The Paskwa Fire (HWF-030) is located in the community of Fox Lake and was detected on May 2, 2023. This fire is classified as Out of Control (OC) and the last recorded size is 60,955 hectares. The fire is approximately 1km inside the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary and 8km from the community of Garden River. An Incident Management Team is in place with crews and resources from multiple jurisdictions responding.

    On May 17th, 2023 a backburning operation was conducted to burn off forest fuels between the retardant line near Gar-den River and the northeast perimeter of the fire. Backburning was successful and today crews will access the retardant line to extinguish hotspots. Some hand ignition may be used to ensure complete removal of fuel near the retardant line. Information Officers will be in the community today to answer any questions that residents may have. Garden River is currently on an evacuation alert and residents will be notified as the situation changes.

    Get information regarding the evacuation and stay informed by visiting the Little Red River Cree Nation’s Facebook page.

    Get more information on the Paskwa wildfire is here.

    Find up to date information on Alberta wildfires here.

    Wood Buffalo National Park is supporting Alberta Wildfire to ensure the protection of people, infrastructure, and values-at-risk.

    Hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to continue throughout northern Alberta and the southern NWT, which could see further fire activity in Wood Buffalo National Park and surrounding areas.

    Information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park is posted to our website. Refer here for updates throughout the season.

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is forecasted to remain unseasonably warm for the next several days with little to no precipitation. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    FIRE INFORMATION:

    Sierra Stinson, Fire Information Officer
    Email: sierra.stinson@pc.gc.ca
    Tel: 867-872-0170

    June 2023
    Davidson Lake Fire Information Update: June 30, 2023 – 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    There are 165 fire personnel, 44 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    Weather

    Last night parts of the fire area received small amounts of rain up to 5mm.. Today, temperatures will be warm with the high reaching near 30 degrees and SW winds of 15km/hr.

    Fire Update

    Yesterday, warm weather and gusty winds contributed to increased fire behaviour on the northeastern flank of the fire moving away from the community of Garden River. Crews continue to work on-the-ground to secure the line along the western perimeter. Additional resources have been reallocated back from HFW-075 to further containment efforts on the western perimeter.

    Community protection

    Each day a crew is assigned to check on values-at-risk, such as cabins, within the Davidson Lake area. There is no concern to these values at this time.

    All remaining work on the fire guards around the community of Garden River has now been completed. This work ensures that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    Paskwa & HFW-075

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Future Public Updates:

    As the incident has stabilized, public updates on the Davidson Fires will be released on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1PM MT. More frequent updates may be provided as needed if the situation changes

    For further information, contact:

    James Eastman
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fire
    james.eastham@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4839

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Wildfire Information Officer, High Level Forest Area
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 30, 2023 – 11 a.m. MT

    **NEW: Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will change frequency beginning today. Updates will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 56 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    A new full Parks Canada Incident Management Team (IMT) arrived yesterday to relieve the existing IMT as they finish their shift and head home. After a transition day yesterday, the incident will be managed by this new team moving forward.

    NEW! Closures & Warnings

    A revision to the existing Area Closure will go into place at noon today. Salt River Day Use Area is now open to the public. The following trails in the area are also now open to the public: Salt River Meadows Trail, Grosbeak Lake Route, Salt Pan Lake Trail, and Benchmark Creek Trail.

    The updated Area Closure continues to include Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road.

    The following remains closed:

    • Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead until Peace Point
      • This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground, and Pine Lake rental cabins
    • Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 41,104 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith and 1 km northwest of Pine Lake. It continues to pose no threat to communities at this time. Yesterday, there was increased fire activity on the western arm of the fire, but with some precipitation, this activity will likely decrease today. Crews worked yesterday on the bottom southeastern piece of the fire to try to extinguish a spot fire along one of the fire guards – they’ll continue this work today.

    Over the past week, crews have actioned hundreds of hot spots along the northern edge of the fire, reducing the number to almost zero. Today, they will continue to patrol the northern line to sniff out and watch for new smoke or hot spots burning deep in the ground.

    The goal along the north of this fire is to establish a perimeter line that is cold 100 feet in, to prevent fire spread.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 19,865 hectares and remains 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. Yesterday, the northwestern edge again saw some fire activity, but because of the wind direction, was mostly burning into already burnt area (also known as burning into the black).

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Weather

    Yesterday, Fire 7 and Fire 2 saw minimal precipitation, with extreme winds. Today, temperatures will continue to be very warm. Winds will be southwest at around 15-20 km/hr, gusting to 40 km/hour.

    There is again a change of a thunderstorm later in the day, with 1-3 mm of precipitation expected.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Pine Lake Fires
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson Lake Fire Information Update: June 29, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 165 fire personnel, 44 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are currently estimated to be 101,982 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 30 degrees S/SW winds gusting between 20-40km/hr. Tomorrow will see unstable atmospheric conditions and may bring isolated thunderstorms and rain.

    A warming trend is moving through the region this week with temperatures remaining around 30 degrees until the weekend.

    Fire Update

    Yesterday, the Davidson Lake fires received small amounts of rain. Cloud cover further reduced fire activity and has allowed for crews to safely work on-the-ground. Additional resources are being reallocated back from HFW-075 to further containment efforts on the western perimeter.

    Suppression efforts will be focused on the south and southeastern sides of Fire 14.

    Community protection

    Each day a crew is assigned to check on values-at-risk, such as cabins, within the Davidson Lake area. There is no concern to these values at this time.

    The community guard north of Garden River is complete. The additional guard south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River is expected to be completed by end of day Thursday. Most of the work has been completed; however, there is a small amount of tidying to do tomorrow. This will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    Paskwa & HFW-075

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    For more information, please contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Area Information Coordinator,
    Paskwa/High Level Forest Area
    victoria.ostendorf@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 29, 2023 – 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 72 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Found on the fireline today

    Fire personnel found some green life today amidst the ash. Under the right conditions, fire can be a catalyst for new life. This green sprout is an encouraging sign that plants are already beginning to regenerate.

    Fire 2

    • Was last mapped at 18,911 hectares
    • Yesterday, Fire 2 saw activity in the NW edge. The fire is still hung up in a wet, swampy area but is seeing increased activity in isolated pockets. These areas are currently not a concern due to the surrounding deciduous fuels and adjacent wet areas.
    • Remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith
    • Poses no threat to the community at this time

     

    Fire 7

    • Was last mapped at 41,104 hectares
    • Extinguishment of hot spots along the northern perimeter remains to be the priority
    • Yesterday, Fire 7 saw increased activity on the southern tip. Crews actioned small spots and will return in the morning to ensure any remaining heat is extinguished.
    • Crews continue to patrol the north line to watch for (and sniff out!) new smoke and to extinguish spots
    • The goal along the northern edge is to ensure the north end is cold 100 feet in, to prevent spread
    • It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald
    • It poses no threat to communities at this time

     

    Fire 15

    • Continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

     

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 30 degrees S/SW winds gusting between 20-40km/hr. Tomorrow will see unstable atmospheric conditions and may bring isolated thunderstorms and rain.

    A warming trend is moving through the region this week with temperatures remaining around 30 degrees until the weekend.

    Closures & Warnings

    The Pine Lake Road remains closed. This is due to ongoing fire activity and falling trees.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 28, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 161 fire personnel, 44 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are currently estimated to be 101,982 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 30 degrees SW winds gusting to 25km/hr.

    A warming trend will be moving through the region this week with temperatures remaining around 30 degrees until the weekend.

    Fire update

    Yesterday, the Davidson Lake fires received more rain. This rain has helped to reduce fire activity and has allowed for crews to safely work on-the-ground. Crews have successfully secured close to 7km along the western edge.

    Suppression efforts will be focused on the south and southeastern sides of Fire 14.

    Community protection

    Each day a crew is assigned to check on values-at-risk, such as cabins, within the Davidson Lake area. There is no concern to these values at this time.

    The community guard north of Garden River is complete. The additional guard south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River is expected to be completed by end of day Wednesday. This will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Wildfire Information Officer, High Level Forest Area
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 28, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    There are 64 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Firefighting fun facts

    Thermal scanning is one of the many tools in a firefighter’s toolbox. But it’s not the only way! Fire crews are also trained to watch for smoke, listen to their surroundings, and sniff out deep, smouldering hot spots or ash pits.

    Fire 2

    • Was last mapped at 18,911 hectares
    • Yesterday, Fire 2 saw minimal growth to the NW. The fire is now hung up in a wet, swampy area and is unlikely to move in the coming days
    • Remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith
    • Poses no threat to the community at this time

     

    Fire 7

    • Was last mapped at 41,104 hectares
    • Yesterday, Fire 7 did not see any growth
    • Extinguishment of hot spots along the northern perimeter remains to be the priority
    • Crews continue to patrol the north line to watch for (and sniff out!) new smoke and to extinguish spots
    • The goal along the northern edge is to ensure the north end is cold 100 feet in, to prevent spread
    • It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald
    • Poses no threat to the community at this time

     

    Fire 15

    • Continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 30 degrees with light winds.

    A warming trend will be moving through the region this week with the high temperatures persisting until the weekend.

    Closures & Warnings

    The Pine Lake Road remains closed. This is due to ongoing fire activity and falling trees.

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

     

     

     

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 27, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 159 fire personnel, 42 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are currently estimated to be 101,982 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 28 degrees with variable light winds.

    A warming trend will be moving through the region this week with the high temperatures and light winds.

    Fire Update

    Yesterday the Davidson Lake fires received 4mm of rain. Rainy days allow crews to get ahead of suppression efforts and allow them to better identify hot, smouldering spots. Today, crews will access new areas of the fire, with support from the air, to extinguish hot spots in the coming days. The focus remains on the south and western sides of Fire 14.

    Each day a crew is assigned to check on values-at-risk, such as cabins, within the Davidson Lake area. There is no concern to these values at this time. The community guard north of Garden River is now complete. An additional guard is being created south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River, at the request of Little Red River Cree Nation. This will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Wildfire Information Officer, High Level Forest Area
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 27, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    There are 65 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Yesterday, Fire 2 saw minimal growth to the NW. The fire is now hung up in a wet, swampy area and is unlikely to move in the coming days. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 was last mapped at 41,104 hectares. Yesterday, Fire 7 did not see any growth. Overcast, rainy conditions helped to limit spread on the NW corner. Like Fire 2, Fire 7 is now in a wet area and is unlikely to move much further at this time. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Fire personnel continue to prioritize extinguishment of hot spots along the northern perimeter. This work is being supplemented by thermal scanning. Each day, crews patrol the north line to watch for new smoke and to extinguish spots identified the night before. The goal is to ensure the north end is cold 100 feet in, to prevent spread. Fire crews also patrolled the Pine Lake area to ensure that there were no remaining hot spots from yesterday’s operation. There are no concerns at this time. No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Closures & Warnings

    Recently fire personnel have witnessed vehicles moving through closed areas, such as the Pine Lake Road. In addition, these vehicles have been travelling at high speeds, putting themselves and fire crews in danger.

    The Pine Lake Road remains closed. This is due to ongoing fire activity and falling trees.

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today will be warm with the high reaching 28 degrees with variable light winds.

    A warming trend will be moving through the region this week with the high temperatures and light winds.

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 26, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 159 fire personnel, 42 pieces of heavy equipment and 10 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are currently estimated to be 101,982 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Weather

    Smoky conditions are expected tomorrow due to the weather. Some rain is forecasted, which may help clear it later in the day.

    Overall, sunny warm weather with light winds are expected. A high of 22 degrees is forecasted with scattered showers. A warming trend will be moving through the region this week with the highest temperatures coming closer to the weekend.

    Fire Update

    Crews will continue to extinguish hot spots in the coming days, focusing on the south and western sides of Fire 14.

    Crews continued to action hot spots in Fire 14 along the dozer guards on Trident Creek. Helicopters supported ground crews with buckets and actioned isolated hot spots further to the north. Nodwells delivered water to firefighters along the fireline.

    Resources from the Davidson-Paskwa Complex were assisting with HFW-075. This will happen again today to assist in suppression efforts.

    The community guard north of Garden River is now complete. An additional guard is being created south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River, at the request of Little Red River Cree Nation. This will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Wildfire Information Officer, High Level Forest Area
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 26, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 68 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Thank you to the Fort Smith Fire Department for providing a facility to wash and dry our fire hose from the line. Some very happy fire personnel enjoyed their day using the facility compared to doing it all in the field. #Teamwork

    Closures & Warnings

    Over the past few days fire personnel have witnessed vehicles moving through closed areas, such as the Pine Lake Road. In addition, these vehicles have been travelling at high speeds, putting themselves and fire crews in danger.

    The Pine Lake Road remains closed. This is due to ongoing fire activity and falling trees.

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fire update

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Yesterday, Fire 2 saw minimal growth on the southwest and northeast ends. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 was last mapped at 41,104 hectares. Yesterday, Fire 7 saw minimal growth on the southeast and northwest ends. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    To date, fire crews have extinguished 262 identified hot spots! Hot spotting is hard and dirty work. It involves digging into the ground, often into smouldering roots, and extinguishing any simmering heat. Shout out to our hard working personnel!

    Pine Lake fire guard

    Update: Due to dense smoke in the Pine Lake area, burn operations did not proceed today. After a test fire, conditions were not right to proceed. The moisture content in the vegetation (grass, bushes, trees) was different than what the target, threshold is. As a result, specialists did not see the fire would help reach the set objectives. Fire specialists will watch for another opportunity in the future.

    Background: A fire guard around Pine Lake would involve burning vegetation (grass, logs, adjacent trees) by hand and by air. The goal of a tactic like this is to consume all the fuels between Pine Lake infrastructure and the adjacent forest. By reducing the fuel load, it should slow, or potentially stop, Fire 7 from spreading into Pine Lake and provide a strategic fire break in future years as well.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Weather

    Today’s weather is expected to be warm, around 23 degrees. Winds will be light, from the SE.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    We would like to thank our Liaison Officer, Alyssa Etsell, and hope that she enjoys her well deserved days off and time to rest. Moving forward, for any inquiries about cabins, please contact the Information Officer, Alexandria Jones directly.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 25, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 193 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are currently estimated to be 105,363 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Weather

    Today, the forecast is calling for a high of 23 C. Winds will be much lighter, gusting to 15km/hr. Rain showers are possible. This should help keep fire activity lower, helping suppression efforts.

    Sunday update

    Crews will continue to extinguish hot spots in the coming days, focusing on the southern most point of Fire 14.

    The bulldozer group continued to make progress yesterday with the goal of tying the dozer line in to Trident Creek and burned out areas to the north. This work will continue today.

    The community guard north of Garden River is now complete. An additional guard is being created south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River, at the request of Little Red River Cree Nation. This will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and will limit the threat from future wildfires.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 25, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 69 fire personnel and six helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Closures & Warnings

    Over the past few days fire personnel have witnessed vehicles moving through closed areas, such as the Pine Lake Road. In addition, these vehicles have been travelling at high speeds, putting themselves and fire crews in danger.

    The Pine Lake Road remains closed. This is due to ongoing fire activity and falling trees.

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fire Update

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Due to increased fire activity today as a result of gusty winds, Fire 2 saw minimal growth on the south end. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 was last mapped at 41,104 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time. To date, fire crews have extinguished 252 identified hot spots! Hot spotting is hard and dirty work. It involves digging into the ground, often into smoldering roots, and extinguishing any simmering heat. Shout out to our hard working personnel!

    Today, if conditions permit, fire personnel plan to burn a fire guard on the southern end of Fire 7, adjacent to Pine Lake.

    This operation will involve burning vegetation (grass, logs, adjacent trees) by hand and by air. The goal of a tactic like this is to consume all the fuels between Pine Lake infrastructure and the adjacent forest. This will slow, or potentially stop, Fire 7 from spreading into Pine Lake and will provide a strategic fire break in future years as well. The Pine Lake fire guard is being created under very careful conditions. Wind speed, wind direction, and moisture levels all must be just right. To protect cabins, structural protection remains on-site. Fire crews and specialists will be on the ground monitoring, as well as by air, ready to respond.

    Monday is forecasted to bring cooler weather and rain. This will help fire crews extinguish hot spots that remain following the operation. An update on this operation will be provided on Monday, June 26th.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Weather

    Today’s weather is expected to be warm, around 23 degrees. Winds will be light, from the SE.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    We would like to thank our Liaison Officer, Alyssa Etsell, and hope that she enjoys her well deserved days off and time to rest. Moving forward, for any inquiries about cabins, please contact the Information Officer, Alexandria Jones directly.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 24, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 164 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    Today, the forecast is calling for a high of 26 C. Winds will start out from the SW, but a cold front will move across the fire in the early afternoon and winds will shift to the NW, gusting up to 40km/hr. This cold front may bring showers which will help decrease fire activity.

    Due to recent flooding down south, the Peace River is expected to rise 1-2 meters over the next 48 hours. Crews will be moving the pumps back from the river to ensure they are not damaged from the high water levels.

    Crews continue to work to extinguish hot spots in the coming days. Thermal scans of the Paskwa Fire have assisted in identifying deep burning areas which can be difficult to locate otherwise.

    The bulldozer group continued to make progress yesterday with the goal of tying the dozer line in to Trident Creek and burned out areas to the north. This work will continue today.

    The community guard north of Garden River is now complete. On Thursday, crews began widening the guard from 30 meters to 100 meters wide and continue the work today. Once this is finished, an additional guard will be put in south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River at the request of Little Red River Cree Nation. This additional guard will mean that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and limit the threat from future fires in the area.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 24, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 67 fire personnel and six helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Due to the drier weather, fire activity has slightly increased within its existing perimeter. Small pockets of forest are flaring up contributing to smoky conditions. This is normal and the fire’s perimeter has not changed. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 was last mapped at 41,104 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Crews have been making significant progress on the northern side of Fire 7 in extinguishing hot spots that are identified using thermal scanning.

    The current smoky skies are a result of a combination of flare-ups within the existing fire’s perimeter and atmospheric conditions. After the cold front moves through today, the smoke should clear a bit.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Closures & Warnings

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Isolated thunderstorms are expected to move through the Pine Lake Complex area between 10:00am to noon. This system will bring gusty winds up to 60km/hr and possible rain showers. Following this, we will enter another extended drying period.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 23, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 101 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires and Paskwa Fire are being managed by both Parks Canada and the province of Alberta, under Unified Command.

    After a combination of aerial assessment and satellite data, the fire size for the Davidson Lake Fires is currently estimated to be 104,879 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    It was a much quieter day on the Davidson Lake Fires yesterday. Cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity, cloud cover and even a few scattered showers helped to keep fire behaviour down in most areas of the fire throughout the day. Helicopter bucketing continued, as required, and crews took advantage of the conditions to action new hotspots and further secure the perimeter. This work will continue today.

    The dozer group on the western flank continues to push north, with the goal of tying the dozer line in to Trident Creek and burned out areas to the north. Today, the dozers will work in time with ground crews to do a combination of direct suppression along the perimeter while also continuing to tie the dozer guard into the creek, to keep the fire on the east side of Trident Creek. The team has brought in additional Nodwells so that firefighters can extinguish hotspots along the dozer guard with pumps and hose.

    Crews are continuing to check on cabins in the vicinity of the fire and have been running sprinklers to keep the areas around them wetted down.

    The community guard north of Garden River is now complete. Yesterday, crews began widening the guard from 30 meters to 100 meters wide, and have approximately 1.4km left to complete today. Once this is finished, an additional guard will be put in south of Highway 58 towards the Peace River at the request of Little Red River Cree Nation. This additional guard will ensure that the community of Garden River is protected from all directions and limit the threat from future fires in the area.

    Today, the forecast is calling for a high of 26 degrees, with winds from the south-southwest around 10km/h. Relative humidity is forecast to be around 35% today. It will be a warm, sunny day, but fire behaviour is expected to remain low throughout the day.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-872-0170

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 23, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 63 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Many hands make light(er) work! Additional fire crews will be arriving over the next few days to assist with suppression efforts and to relieve crews who need rest.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Due to the drier weather, fire activity has slightly increased within its existing perimeter. Small pockets of forest are flaring up contributing to today’s hazy sky. This is normal and the fire’s perimeter has not changed. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 was last mapped at 41,104 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Increased fire activity was observed along Fire 7’s perimeter, particularly on the northwest portion. Fire 7 saw its perimeter increase slightly in this area yesterday; however, there continues to be no concerns or threats to the community at this time.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Closures & Warnings

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Smoky conditions are expected today due to a weather inversion, trapping smoke in the atmosphere. Conditions are expected to improve late afternoon.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 22, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 101 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires and Paskwa Fire are being managed by both Parks Canada and the province of Alberta, under Unified Command.

    After a combination of aerial assessment and satellite data, the fire size for the Davidson Lake Fires is currently estimated to be 97,230 hectares. This estimate includes Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14, as all fires are being reported as one complex.

    Chief Conroy Sewepagaham along with Councillor Leslie Joe Laboucan were up in the helicopter yesterday to gain situational awareness of both the Paskwa Fire and the Davidson Lakes Fires. It was an active day on the Davidson Lake Fires, particularly along the southern end of the fire. The fire has not moved towards Garden River and remains approximately 6.2km from the evacuation trigger.

    The small spot fire near the south end of the fire around Trident Creek that was first observed on Sunday was secured by crews on the ground yesterday. It is currently contained and is boxed in by retardant; crews have a hose lay to the edge of the spot. Fire specialists will continue to monitor this area and it will continue to be actioned by crews on the ground. Bucketing operations continued along the head of the fire to limit spread, and this work will continue as needed today to address hotspots along the perimeter.

    A new section of dozer line was established yesterday, running south along the edge of the fire from the old Peace Point Road to a wet area. It connects with the existing north dozer guard and will help keep that section of the fire from moving any further west. Heavy equipment will begin walking up towards the east flank of the fire over the next few days in order to create access for crews to respond with direct suppression, to keep the fire from hooking in towards Garden River from the north.

    Crews are continuing to check on cabins in the vicinity of the fire and have been running sprinklers to keep the areas around them wetted down.

    The community dozer guard north of Garden River is now complete, crews will work on cleaning this up today and then continue to widen the guard.

    Today, the forecast is calling for a high of 21 degrees, with variable winds mainly from the east-southeast around 10-15km/h. Relative humidity is forecast to be around 35% today, and we expect to see another fairly active day on the Davidson Lake Fires.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-872-0170

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 22, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 63 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Minimal fire activity has been observed over the past few days. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is now estimated to be 41,104 hectares. This area is slightly smaller than previously stated due to increased visibility allowing for more accurate mapping. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    As each day gets warmer and drier, fire personnel are observing increased fire behaviour within the fire’s existing perimeter. This is to be expected as the vegetation dries out following last week’s rain.

    A second thermal scan was completed last night along Fire 7’s north perimeter. Fire crews will continue to action these hot spots while conditions are safe to do so.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    FAQ

    What the duff?!

    Because of how deep some hot spots burn, extinguishing fire is not as easy as putting water on surface fuels (soil, deadfall, etc) and calling it a day. That’s why so much focus the past week has been on putting out hot spots.

    Fire can burn in the duff layer of soil (underground) throughout fall and winter. “Duff” is a layer of soil between the forest floor and deeper mineral soil made up of decomposing plant materials.

    Fire can smoulder in this layer of soil in cooler temperatures, even throughout the colder fall and winter months. Hot spots can pop up again the following spring or summer if fuel remains and the right conditions are present.

    This takes a lot of time, patience, dedication and hard work! Thank you to our firefighters for their tireless efforts.

    Closures & Warnings

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    The Wood Buffalo region is in a drying period. The rain that the area received last week helped, however vegetation is beginning to dry out once again. Smoke may be visible at times.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 21, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 102 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires and Paskwa Fire are being managed by both Parks Canada and the province of Alberta, under Unified Command.

    The forecast for today is for light north winds and low relative humidity, with temperatures in the mid-20’s. Yesterday, fire behaviour was mostly scattered ground and surface fire, with most activity concentrated on the southwest flank of the fire. The fire saw minimal growth yesterday and remains approximately 6.2km from the evacuation trigger line.

    The small spot fire near the south end of the fire around Trident Creek that was observed on Sunday is currently estimated to be around 10 hectares. Air tanker support was requested yesterday to assist with laying retardant along this flank of the fire to help limit spread. The spot fire was boxed in with retardant and crews now have a hose lay to the edge of the spot.

    An infrared (IR) scan of the Davidson Lake Fire is planned this week to identify hotspots for crews to focus suppression efforts on. The priority is to scan the south and southwest perimeter of the Davidson Fire and if time allows, they will scan the entire perimeter of the Davidson Lake Fire. Crews again checked on cabins and infrastructure at risk yesterday and confirmed known values have not been impacted. They crews will continue to maintain structure protection today.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca | 867-872-0170

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca | 780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 21, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

    The lands which now make up Wood Buffalo National Park have been home to Dene, Cree and Métis Peoples since time immemorial. Parks Canada fire personnel are working in the traditional territories of 11 Indigenous communities, who continue to use the land for subsistence hunting, fishing and trapping, as they have for centuries.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 60 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Minimal fire activity has been observed over the past few days. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is now estimated to be 41,104 hectares. This area is slightly smaller than previously stated due to increased visibility allowing for more accurate mapping. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7. Work continued on the north end of the fire yesterday, with personnel actioning hot spots and small flare-ups as required.

    Overnight a drone scanned the fire’s perimeter, locating heat beneath the ground’s surface. These hot spots can flare up during warmer, windier days. Over the coming days, crews will work to extinguish these spots to ensure they don’t become a problem in the future.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    FAQ

    Will Pine Lake Road reopen soon?

    Although the area received significant rain this week, there is still work to be done in the Pine Lake region. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and Fire 7 remains to be 1 km from Pine Lake.

    As fire season is just getting started, fire specialists are planning strategies for long-term protection of these facilities should fire behaviour increase in the future. Additionally, trees and their root systems have been damaged by wildfire and must be assessed in advance of people coming back into the area. Strong winds may cause these damaged trees to fall.

    What do crews do when fire activity is low?

    Following the cooler weather and rain, fire activity often decreases until conditions dry out a bit. During this time it provides fire personnel with a great opportunity to proactively work on the fire.

    Perimeters are patrolled, deep burning roots and plant material are dug up and extinguished (referred to as hot spotting), and fire specialists strategically plan for and enacts tactics to prevent the fire from spreading any further.

    These cooler days are often when crews are the busiest! When fire behaviour is extreme, crews are unable to work on-the-ground to directly suppress fire. It’s simply too dangerous for them. Aircraft instead are relied upon during these times.

    Closures & Warnings

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    The Wood Buffalo region is in a drying period. Gusty winds combined with dry conditions may cause fire activity to increase in the coming days. As a result, smoke may be visible.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 20, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    There are 122 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires and Paskwa Wildfire are being managed by both Parks Canada and the province of Alberta, under Unified Command.

    Fire behaviour has remained low since yesterday and is expected to be similar today.

    Fire behaviour observed yesterday was primarily smoldering ground fire with occasional flare-ups. One small spot fire was observed around Trident Creek near the south end of the fire and will continue to be actioned by crews today – this spot fire poses no additional risk to the community at this time.

    The dozer line running north from Peace Point Road (Old Smith Highway) along the western edge of the fire is now only about 300m short of being tied into Trident Creek. We expect to complete this section today, which will help prevent the spread of the fire towards the community of Garden River. No significant growth was observed on the Davidson Lake Fires yesterday and the fire remains approximately 6.2 km from the evacuation trigger line.

    The community dozer guard north of Garden River is approximately 90% complete, and we expect this work to be completed today as well.

    We expect to see another gusty morning with winds from the northeast at 20km/h gusting to 35km/h. In the afternoon, winds will lower to around 15km/h.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca | 867-872-0170

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca | 780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 20, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 58 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Minimal fire activity has been observed over the past few days. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is now estimated to be 41,104 hectares. This area is slightly smaller than previously stated due to increased visibility allowing for more accurate mapping. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Yesterday fire crews worked to directly suppress fire on the north end of the fire. As the afternoon heated up, combined with gusty winds, small, isolated pockets of fire were seen around the perimeter Fire 7.

    Today, crews will work in the same area to locate and extinguish spots burning deeply into the soil.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    FAQ

    Will Pine Lake Road reopen soon?

    Although the area received significant rain this week, there is still work to be done in the Pine Lake region. Fire 2 remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and Fire 7 remains to be 1 km from Pine Lake.

    As fire season is just getting started, fire specialists are planning strategies for long-term protection of these facilities should fire behaviour increase in the future. Additionally, trees and their root systems have been damaged by wildfire and must be assessed in advance of people coming back into the area. Strong winds may cause these damaged trees to fall.

    What do crews do when fire activity is low?

    Following the cooler weather and rain, fire activity often decreases until conditions dry out a bit. During this time it provides fire personnel with a great opportunity to proactively work on the fire.

    Perimeters are patrolled, deep burning roots and plant material are dug up and extinguished (referred to as hot spotting), and fire specialists strategically plan for and enacts tactics to prevent the fire from spreading any further.

    These cooler days are often when crews are the busiest! When fire behaviour is extreme, crews are unable to work on-the-ground to directly suppress fire. It’s simply too dangerous for them. Aircraft instead are relied upon during these times.

    Closures & Warnings

    All area closures remain in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    The Wood Buffalo region is entering a drying period. Gusty winds combined with dry conditions may cause fire activity to increase in the coming days. As a result, smoke may be visible.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 19, 2023 – 1:00 p.m. MT

    There are 146 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires and Paskwa Wildfire are being managed by both Parks Canada and the province of Alberta, under Unified Command.

    Yesterday, crews worked south along the perimeter of Fire 14, from where the Old Peace Point Road meets the edge of the fire, containing a section of the fire that had spread west across Trident Creek. With assistance from helicopter buckets, they were able to prevent any further spread to the west. Dozers and crews worked north along the fire edge and should tie back into Trident Creek by the end of the day today. Helicopters will continue with bucketing support today.

    Fire behaviour is expected to pick up because of strong northerly winds and fire specialists anticipate potential for some increased fire activity and smoke.

    Heavy equipment made good progress yesterday on the northern park boundary guard, they have about one more kilometre to go before completion.

    Crews continued doing their daily maintenance run to service the structure protection set up on values near the fire. Yesterday, they were also able to locate an old cemetery that was pointed out to us at the Garden River community meeting on the 16th and will take appropriate actions to protect it.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    FOR FURTHER INFO:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca | 867-621-0764

    Colby Lachance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca | 780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 19, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 58 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Minimal fire activity has been observed over the past few days. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 42,773 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Yesterday, crews worked to extinguish hot spot spots along the northern perimeter. Work will continue today while it remains safe for fire crews to be on-the-ground.

    Moving forward

    As a result of significant precipitation that has been received over the last 48 hours, the incident is focusing their efforts on more direct suppression efforts with fire crews. The rain has decreased fire behaviour and has made it safer for crews to access the north end of Fire 7. Direct suppression will include bucketing, laying hose, and extinguishing hot spots around the perimeter. When possible, a thermal scan will be scheduled to help locate hot spots along the fire’s perimeter. For the safety of all personnel, these tactics may change should fire behaviour increase.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Closures & Warnings

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point. It includes Parsons Lake Road, from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    Gusty winds combined with drier weather may cause fire activity to increase today. As a result, smoke may be visible.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex: June 18, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    There are 144 fire personnel, 19 pieces of heavy equipment and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    Today management of the Davidson Lake Fires moved to Unified Command with the province of Alberta.

    Davidson Lake Fires (WB Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14)

    The western edge of Fire 14 was active yesterday, helicopters were bucketing along this edge all day yesterday and will be doing the same today, with the objective of holding the fire at Trident Creek.

    Dozers kept moving up to the western edge and cleared another safety zone closer to the fire’s edge. These safety zones are being made so ground crews can work safely along the perimeter of the fire in the future as conditions allow.

    There was good progress yesterday on the guard being made to the north of Garden River at the park boundary line. The dozers were able to get 1.5 kilometres along the route and will be mindful of avoiding areas that were identified by community members at the June 16th community meeting as they continue.

    Davidson Lake Fires were last estimated at 91,079 hectares and remains 6.2 km from the community evacuation trigger line.

    Paskwa Wildfire

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Weather

    Today the temperature is supposed to hit a high of 19, with winds coming from the northeast at 20-25 km/hr with gusts up to 40 km/hr.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsel
    Fire Information Officer, Davidson Lake Fires
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Colby LaChance
    Wildfire Information Officer, Paskwa Wildfire
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-404-9186

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15): June 18, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 67 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Good news: the Pine Lake Complex received significant precipitation over the past 24 hours. The region received between 13 to 20mm of rain, which should ultimately decrease fire activity for the 3-5 days.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. Minimal fire activity has been observed over the past few days. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 42,773 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Yesterday, fire personnel continued to reinforce the bulldozer guards in the Pine Lake area. The guard is now complete on the southwest side of Fire 7, providing additional protection for infrastructure in the area.

    Crews worked on a few hot spots near Kettle Point, where fire had dug into the soil and was burning underground.

    Moving forward

    As a result of the significant precipitation, in the coming days the incident will focus efforts on more direct suppression efforts with fire crews. The rain has decreased fire behaviour and has made it safer for crews to access the north end of Fire 7. Direct suppression will include bucketing and laying hose around the perimeter. A thermal scan will be scheduled to help locate hot spots along the perimeter. For the safety of all personnel, these tactics may change should fire behaviour increase.

    Assessments of dangerous, fire-damaged trees will also occur in areas without fire activity. When a fire moves through, roots can be damaged and become unstable. Increased winds can cause trees to fall, potentially blocking routes.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Closures and warnings

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point. It includes Parsons Lake Road, from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    The Pine Lake Complex received significant precipitation over the past 24 hours. The region received between 13 to 23mm of rain, ultimately decreasing fire activity for the next few days. This downtrend in weather will allow fire personnel to proactively work on fire suppression efforts, in advance of higher temperatures later in the week.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 17, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Today, the current Incident Management Team (IMT) transitioned to another Parks Canada IMT who will take over the management of the Pine Lake Fires. Moving forward the Pine Lake Fires 2, 7, and 15 will be referred to as the Pine Lake Complex.

    Additionally, the Davidson Lake Fires (8, 9, 11, 13, and 14) are now being co-managed under Unified Command with Parks Canada and Alberta Wildfire. Moving forward the Davidson Lake Fires and the Paskwa wildfire will be listed as the Davidson-Paskwa Complex.

    Wildfire perimeters were last mapped on June 15. The perimeter will be updated again when conditions allow.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (8, 9, 11, 13, and 14)

    There are 151 fire personnel and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    Today, as a result of the low-pressure system, cloud cover, and precipitation, fires within the Davidson-Paskwa Complex saw minimal growth. Fire 14 is approximately 21.9 km from Garden River and 6.2 km from the community evacuation trigger line.

    Fire specialists continue to monitor fire behaviour and weather conditions which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    Today, fire crews were able to action the fire on the ground until late afternoon. Low visibility grounded air operations and crews refocused their efforts on facility protection.

    The weather has continued to be warm and very dry in the Garden River area, but today the Davidson Lake Fires should be receiving approximately 5 mm of rain later in the afternoon, which will decrease the fire activity for the next day or two.

    Bulldozers continued to push forward along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday and were able to get approximately 3km from the edge of the fire. This will enable easier access and, in the future, as weather and fire conditions allow, the ability for ground crews to action the fire safely.

    Work began on the northern park boundary guard following a meeting that was held with the community. Work will continue on this community guard for the foreseeable future.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 89 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 42,773 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Today, fire personnel continued to reinforce one of the dozer guards in the Pine Lake area. Work will continue tomorrow. Structural protection equipment, like sprinkler systems, remain on all cabins and infrastructure around Pine Lake. Crews are assessing the equipment daily.

    Structural protection equipment, like sprinkler systems, remain on all cabins and infrastructure around Pine Lake. Crews are assessing the equipment daily.

    Parks Canada continues to work closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for to limit fire growth to the north. Several options are being considered to create control lines north of Fire 7. This may include using bulldozers to create breaks in forest fuels (trees, twigs, leaves, etc.). It may also include strategic ignition operations to backburn and tie the fires into natural features, such as to water bodies.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Paskwa Wildfire

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    Closures and warnings

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point. It includes Parsons Lake Road, from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    A low-pressure system has moved into the area today, which brought widespread showers and thunderstorms throughout the park today. Precipitation was seen throughout the area.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:
    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire update: June 16, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Tomorrow, the current Incident Management Team (IMT) will transition to an incoming new full Parks Canada IMT who will manage the Pine Lake Fires moving forward. Additionally, the Davidson Lake Fires will move to Unified Command with Alberta Wildfire tomorrow. An Alberta Wildfire Incident Commander and Parks Canada Incident Commander with an integrated inter-agency team will oversee management of both the Davidson Lake Fires and the Paskwa wildfire, which will be known after tomorrow as the Davidson-Paskwa Complex. The Pine Lake Fires will be referred to as the Pine Lake Complex after tomorrow.

    Wildfire perimeters were mapped yesterday as operations allowed and the updated hectares will be reflected throughout today’s update. The updated areas reflect wildfire growth from the date of their last mapping, which was on June 11, to yesterday.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 94 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday evening, fire personnel observed higher intensity in the southwest corner of Fire 14. The fire grew about 600 metres and is now approximately 21.9 km from Garden River and 6.6 km from the community evacuation trigger line.

    Fire specialists will continue monitoring fire behaviour and weather conditions, which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    The weather has continued to be warm and very dry in the Garden River area, but today the Davidson Lake Fires should be receiving approximately 5 mm of rain later in the afternoon, which will decrease the fire activity for the next day or two.

    Parks Canada will be meeting with the community in Garden River tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss a new potential guard to be put in north of the community, along the park boundary line.

    Dozers continued to push forward along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday and were able to get approximately 3km from the edge of the fire. This will enable easier access for pushing another dozer guard along the fire’s edge (known as tightlining) and in the future, as weather and fire conditions allow the ability for ground crews to action the fire safely. The dozers were pulled off their work as fire behaviour increased later in the afternoon. Tomorrow, they will try to push to one of the values in the area that is located adjacent to the road. This work will depend on fire activity and, if not possible, dozers may start work on the northern park boundary guard if the community supports the proposed plan.

    Improved access to this area will potentially help in the future if direct suppression efforts by crews are possible.

    Parks crews continued yesterday to maintain structure protection on values in the area. A US hotshot crew helped with maintaining sprinkler systems as well and looked at potential hand ignition opportunities around one cabin close to the fire’s edge to provide added protection from the encroaching fire.

    Tomorrow, helicopters will be doing bucketing along the western edge throughout the morning.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 87,389 hectares combined (updated perimeter-June15).

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 39,599 hectares based on a combination of satellite data and aerial assessment. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 32 km from Fort Smith and around 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. This fire does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

    Parks Canada is working closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for Fire 7 to limit fire growth to the north. Fire personnel are looking at several options to create control lines to the north of Fire 7, which can include using dozers to create breaks in forest fuels (trees, twigs, leaves, etc.) and the potential for strategic ignition to backburn and tie the fires into nature features.

    Today, fire personnel will plan to reinforce one of the dozer guards in the Pine Lake area with a large sprinkler system.

    Structure protection like sprinkler systems on all cabins and infrastructure around the lake continue to be maintained daily by crews. No structures have been directly impacted by these fires.

    Fire 15 is currently being held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. This fire is 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures & Warnings

    Effective June 12, 2023 –

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park.
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point and includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    A low-pressure system is set to move into the area today, possibly bringing a chance of isolated showers or thunderstorms throughout the park today. Some precipitation is forecasted, and winds will be coming from the southeast earlier in the day before switching in the afternoon to southwest winds.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 17, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Today, the current Incident Management Team (IMT) transitioned to another Parks Canada IMT who will take over the management of the Pine Lake Fires. Moving forward the Pine Lake Fires 2, 7, and 15 will be referred to as the Pine Lake Complex.

    Additionally, the Davidson Lake Fires (8, 9, 11, 13, and 14) are now being co-managed under Unified Command with Parks Canada and Alberta Wildfire. Moving forward the Davidson Lake Fires and the Paskwa wildfire will be listed as the Davidson-Paskwa Complex.

    Wildfire perimeters were last mapped on June 15. The perimeter will be updated again when conditions allow.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (8, 9, 11, 13, and 14)

    There are 151 fire personnel and 12 helicopters responding to the Davidson-Paskwa Complex today.

    Today, as a result of the low-pressure system, cloud cover, and precipitation, fires within the Davidson-Paskwa Complex saw minimal growth. Fire 14 is approximately 21.9 km from Garden River and 6.2 km from the community evacuation trigger line.

    Fire specialists continue to monitor fire behaviour and weather conditions which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    Today, fire crews were able to action the fire on the ground until late afternoon. Low visibility grounded air operations and crews refocused their efforts on facility protection.

    The weather has continued to be warm and very dry in the Garden River area, but today the Davidson Lake Fires should be receiving approximately 5 mm of rain later in the afternoon, which will decrease the fire activity for the next day or two.

    Bulldozers continued to push forward along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday and were able to get approximately 3km from the edge of the fire. This will enable easier access and, in the future, as weather and fire conditions allow, the ability for ground crews to action the fire safely.

    Work began on the northern park boundary guard following a meeting that was held with the community. Work will continue on this community guard for the foreseeable future.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    There are 89 fire personnel and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake Complex today.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. This fire remains to be 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 42,773 hectares. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, approximately 32 km from Fort Smith, and approximately 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. It poses no threat to communities at this time.

    Today, fire personnel continued to reinforce one of the dozer guards in the Pine Lake area. Work will continue tomorrow. Structural protection equipment, like sprinkler systems, remain on all cabins and infrastructure around Pine Lake. Crews are assessing the equipment daily.

    Structural protection equipment, like sprinkler systems, remain on all cabins and infrastructure around Pine Lake. Crews are assessing the equipment daily.

    Parks Canada continues to work closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for to limit fire growth to the north. Several options are being considered to create control lines north of Fire 7. This may include using bulldozers to create breaks in forest fuels (trees, twigs, leaves, etc.). It may also include strategic ignition operations to backburn and tie the fires into natural features, such as to water bodies.

    No cabins or other structures have been impacted by Fire 7.

    Fire 15 continues to be held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Paskwa Wildfire

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    Closures and warnings

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point. It includes Parsons Lake Road, from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    A low-pressure system has moved into the area today, which brought widespread showers and thunderstorms throughout the park today. Precipitation was seen throughout the area.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    For further information, contact:
    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire update: June 16, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Tomorrow, the current Incident Management Team (IMT) will transition to an incoming new full Parks Canada IMT who will manage the Pine Lake Fires moving forward. Additionally, the Davidson Lake Fires will move to Unified Command with Alberta Wildfire tomorrow. An Alberta Wildfire Incident Commander and Parks Canada Incident Commander with an integrated inter-agency team will oversee management of both the Davidson Lake Fires and the Paskwa wildfire, which will be known after tomorrow as the Davidson-Paskwa Complex. The Pine Lake Fires will be referred to as the Pine Lake Complex after tomorrow.

    Wildfire perimeters were mapped yesterday as operations allowed and the updated hectares will be reflected throughout today’s update. The updated areas reflect wildfire growth from the date of their last mapping, which was on June 11, to yesterday.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 94 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday evening, fire personnel observed higher intensity in the southwest corner of Fire 14. The fire grew about 600 metres and is now approximately 21.9 km from Garden River and 6.6 km from the community evacuation trigger line.

    Fire specialists will continue monitoring fire behaviour and weather conditions, which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    The weather has continued to be warm and very dry in the Garden River area, but today the Davidson Lake Fires should be receiving approximately 5 mm of rain later in the afternoon, which will decrease the fire activity for the next day or two.

    Parks Canada will be meeting with the community in Garden River tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. to discuss a new potential guard to be put in north of the community, along the park boundary line.

    Dozers continued to push forward along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday and were able to get approximately 3km from the edge of the fire. This will enable easier access for pushing another dozer guard along the fire’s edge (known as tightlining) and in the future, as weather and fire conditions allow the ability for ground crews to action the fire safely. The dozers were pulled off their work as fire behaviour increased later in the afternoon. Tomorrow, they will try to push to one of the values in the area that is located adjacent to the road. This work will depend on fire activity and, if not possible, dozers may start work on the northern park boundary guard if the community supports the proposed plan.

    Improved access to this area will potentially help in the future if direct suppression efforts by crews are possible.

    Parks crews continued yesterday to maintain structure protection on values in the area. A US hotshot crew helped with maintaining sprinkler systems as well and looked at potential hand ignition opportunities around one cabin close to the fire’s edge to provide added protection from the encroaching fire.

    Tomorrow, helicopters will be doing bucketing along the western edge throughout the morning.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 87,389 hectares combined (updated perimeter-June15).

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 39,599 hectares based on a combination of satellite data and aerial assessment. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 32 km from Fort Smith and around 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. This fire does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

    Parks Canada is working closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for Fire 7 to limit fire growth to the north. Fire personnel are looking at several options to create control lines to the north of Fire 7, which can include using dozers to create breaks in forest fuels (trees, twigs, leaves, etc.) and the potential for strategic ignition to backburn and tie the fires into nature features.

    Today, fire personnel will plan to reinforce one of the dozer guards in the Pine Lake area with a large sprinkler system.

    Structure protection like sprinkler systems on all cabins and infrastructure around the lake continue to be maintained daily by crews. No structures have been directly impacted by these fires.

    Fire 15 is currently being held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 18,911 hectares. This fire is 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures & Warnings

    Effective June 12, 2023 –

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park.
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point and includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    A low-pressure system is set to move into the area today, possibly bringing a chance of isolated showers or thunderstorms throughout the park today. Some precipitation is forecasted, and winds will be coming from the southeast earlier in the day before switching in the afternoon to southwest winds.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 15, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 85 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday, Fire 11 and 14 merged along the northern edge of Fire 14. Fire personnel flew over Fire 14 yesterday morning and observed calm fire behaviour along the edge closest to the community. The fire hasn’t experienced significant growth since yesterday’s update. The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 22.5 km from Garden River and 7.2 km from the trigger point for community evacuation.

    Fire specialists will continue monitoring fire behaviour and weather conditions, which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    Weather forecasts had called for potential precipitation in the Garden River area; however, no rain fell locally. Fire specialists are continuing to look at several options to continue limiting the fire, including dozer guards close to the fire’s edge (tightlining). Yesterday they scouted for new potential ignition line west of Fire 14.

    Dozers continued clearing lines along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday to gain better access to the southwestern side of the fire and continue building fuel breaks as required. Improved access to this area will potentially help in the future if direct suppression efforts by crews are possible.

    Crews again checked on cabins and infrastructure at risk yesterday and confirmed known values have yet to be impacted by fires in the area. Crews added structure protection on two additional cabins and maintained pre-existing sprinkler systems on other values in the area. They’ll continue to maintain structure protection today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 49,864 hectares combined as of June 11.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 7 is currently estimated at 39,599 hectares based on a combination of satellite data and aerial assessment. It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 32 km from Fort Smith and around 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. This fire does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

    Parks Canada is working closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for Fire 7 to limit fire growth to the north.

    Today, fires in the Pine Lake area received around 10mm of rain, which helped to reduce fire behaviour and allowed crews to focus on putting out hotspots around Kettle Point and along ignition lines from previous backburn operations. No structures have been directly impacted by these fires. Fire specialists today will continue to look at containment options to limit Fire 7’s spread to the north including constructed dozer guards and the potential for strategic ignition to natural features. Structure protection like sprinkler systems continue to be maintained and deployed daily by crews.

    Fire 15 is currently being held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Fire 2 was estimated at 12,155 hectares at its last mapping on June 11. This fire is 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures & Warnings

    Effective June 12, 2023 –

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park.
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point and includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    There is a chance of isolated showers on the eastern side of the park today, with a high of 18. Winds are forecast to be from the northwest 20km/h gusting to 45km/h.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 14, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 82 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday, little growth was observed on Fire 14 – it grew approximately 400 metres to the west. The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 22.5 km from Garden River and 7.5 km from the trigger point for community evacuation.

    Wood Buffalo National Park has been in contact with Little Red River Cree Nation and provides updates throughout the day. Fire specialists will continue monitoring fire behaviour and weather conditions, which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    Weather forecasts have been uncertain about precipitation amounts, but some areas of the park may see rain today, including the eastern edge of these fires. Depending on the levels of precipitation the fire may see today, fire specialists are looking at several options to continue limiting the fire, including dozer guards close to the fire’s edge (tightlining) and ignition opportunities with retardant drops to try to hold the fire’s southwestern edge.

    Dozers continued clearing lines along the old Fort Smith highway yesterday to gain better access to the southwestern side of the fire and continue building fuel breaks as required. Improved access to this area will potentially help in the future if direct suppression efforts by crews are possible. Crews again checked on cabins and infrastructure at risk yesterday and confirmed known values have yet to be impacted by fires in the area – the crews also added structure protection on two more cabins and maintained pre-existing sprinkler systems on other values in the area. They’ll continue to maintain structure protection today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 49,864 hectares combined as of June 11.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 7 is approximately 13,714 hectares (last mapped: June 11). It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 32 km from Fort Smith and around 33 km from Fort Fitzgerald. This fire does not pose a threat to any community at this time.

    Parks Canada is working closely with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire on containment strategies for Fire 7 to limit fire growth to the north.

    It is important to note that satellite monitoring is useful for tracking and monitoring fires but cannot solely be relied on to provide accurate pictures of fires on the landscape. Our fire specialists use the information from satellite monitoring to find new starts and hot spots but conduct smoke patrols, flyovers and ground assessments as necessary to confirm satellite hits. Currently, satellite monitoring is showing hot spots and perimeter growth within Wood Buffalo National Park that fire personnel have confirmed as inaccurate (see below map).

    During periods of extreme fire behaviour, convective columns of super heated smoke and other activity can register on satellite monitoring as areas with heat. June 11th satellite data showed heat signals near the Grosbeak Lake and Rainbow Lake areas. Helicopters and fire crews immediately went to action these hotspots, but an assessment of the area found no fire in this area.

    Fires 5 and 6 were confirmed on May 28th and actioned by crews and helicopters immediately. These fires were labelled as Under Control shortly after, which means the fires have received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of the fire. These were small spot fires that were caught early and fought by crews on the ground as soon as they could, which prevented fire growth and has allowed us to focus on other fires within the park.

    Crews successfully completed burnout operations along the south flank of Fire 7 yesterday as well as around a cabin in the area. These were successful ignitions, which helped to protect values and hold certain areas of Fire 7. Crews also continued to reinforce dozer lines yesterday with hand ignition and direct suppression efforts on hot spots along the line. Today, they’ll continue patrolling fuel breaks, action spot fires as required and look for more ignition opportunities. To date, there have been no structures impacted directly by fire at Pine Lake. Structure protection like sprinkler systems continue to be deployed and maintained daily by crews.

    Fire 15 is currently being held and is not expected to grow outside of its current boundaries.

    Fire 2 was estimated at 12,155 hectares at its last mapping on June 11. This fire is 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures & Warnings

    Effective June 12, 2023 –

    • Backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park.
    • An area closure is in place for Pine Lake area, which extends from the Salt River Day Use Area to Peace Point and includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time but may be subject to change on short notice.

    Weather

    There is a chance of precipitation throughout the park today, with a high of 13 and much higher relative humidity than we’ve seen in the past few days. Variable winds are forecast from the north, with wind gusts up to 40 km/hr.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 13, 2023 – 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 84 fire personnel and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Fire 14 saw significant fire behaviour again yesterday on the north flank, driven by shifting winds. Yesterday, air tankers supported the fire until smoke conditions prevented further operation. With forecasted easterly winds, there is potential for the fire to spread toward the community in the upcoming days. The fire is currently 23 km from the community and 8 km from the Garden River evacuation trigger line.

    Wood Buffalo National Park has been in contact with Little Red River Cree Nation and has been providing updates as they’re available throughout the day as well as to discuss community evacuation triggers. Fire specialists will continue monitoring fire behaviour and weather conditions, which will ensure a timely recommendation for evacuation of Garden River, if needed.

    Parks Canada is working with both Alberta and the Northwest Territories’ governments for support on this fire.

    When fire behaviour increased yesterday, heavy equipment moved back into Garden River to their safety zones. If conditions allow, seven bulldozers and three excavators will continue to extend Dozer Line A and keep building control lines, which will help limit fire growth toward Garden River.

    Crews continue to maintain structure protection on cabins in the area daily, with special attention to the fires immediately threatened by flanks of Fire 14. Some Parks Canada personnel continue to be based out of the Paskwa fire base with one helicopter and a second crew on their way today.

    The Davidson Lake Fires are approximately 49,864 hectares combined as of June 11.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 7 is approximately 13,714 hectares (last mapped: June 11). It is 1 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. This fire does not pose a threat to the community at this time.

    This fire saw significant growth on Sunday, crossing Pine Lake Road. Shifting winds are expected to challenge control lines again today. If possible, crews may conduct ignition operations to remove forest fuels ahead of the fire and protect cabins, infrastructure and other values, with helicopter bucketing as required.

    Air tankers have been requested from Alberta and the Northwest Territories to assist with further establishing guards in the Pine Lake area today, as conditions allow.

    Crews serviced structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area yesterday, and as fire behaviour allows, they will continue this today as well. Crews were able to work safely yesterday directly on the fire to limit growth of the fire into the Pine Lake recreation area.

    Fire 2 was estimated at 12,155 hectares at its last mapping on June 11. This fire is 8 km from Pine Lake and 68 km from Fort Smith. It poses no threat to the community at this time.

    Fire behaviour was extreme yesterday and this fire challenged existing control lines again due to dry and windy conditions.

    Crews made great progress yesterday and Fire 15 is now being held. This fire is approximately 11.5 hectares, as of June 11.

    Fire 15 is approximately 16 km east of Pine Lake and 55 km southwest of Hay Camp.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures & Warnings

    Effective Monday, June 12, 2023, backcountry camping is CLOSED until further notice due to extreme fire conditions in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    There is also a new road closure in place – Parson’s Lake Road is CLOSED from the junction of the Salt Plains Access Road to Pine Lake Road. The Salt Plains Day Use Area remains OPEN at this time, however, please be advised that this is subject to change on short notice.

    There is an extended area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Bridge to Peace Point. Access to the Salt River Day Use Area, surrounding trails and the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Weather

    Weather conditions in the park today are again expected to be warm and very dry, with variable winds from the northeast gusting to 20km/h. These conditions will continue to contribute to extreme fire behaviour, with means high potential for active fires to grow very quickly.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 11, 2023 – 9:30 p.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Weather conditions in the park today were extremely hot, dry, with sustained northwest winds of 50 km/h and higher. These conditions resulted in extreme fire behaviour, very thick smoke, poor visibility and hazardous conditions for aircraft and fireline personnel. As a result, all crews working on the Pine Lake Fires were pulled back for their safety – life safety is the number one priority for Parks Canada.

    Prior to the crews being pulled off the fireline, they were able to ensure that all structural protection equipment (pumps, hoselays and sprinklers) were operational at Pine Lake facilities, and helicopter bucketing continued as long as it was safe to do so. The fire was assessed for air tanker support from Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Alberta, but due to fire behaviour and poor visibility (under 500m) they were unable to assist. We thank our government partner fire agencies for their assistance today and will continue to work with them closely during this challenging fire season.

    A forecasted frontal system arrived in the northwest area of the park mid-afternoon today bringing severe erratic and gusting winds, and dry lightning. A significant number of lightning strikes were detected and crews were immediately dispatched via helicopter to monitor for new starts – so far, no new starts have been detected but crews will continue monitoring the area for new starts in the morning.

    A cold front has begun to pass through the park and is expected to bring cooler temperatures in the coming days. There may be heavy smoke in Fort Smith in the morning due to poor venting conditions. Precipitation is also forecast for mid-week, which should help fire management efforts.


    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There were 76 fire personnel, four dozers, two excavators and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 7 a.m. (prior to the extremely strong winds) this morning at 12,155 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Fire behaviour was extreme today and this fire challenged existing control lines again today due to the hot, dry and windy conditions.

    Crews were able to service the structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area this morning before having to retreat due to extreme fire behaviour. If fire behaviour allows, they will continue to be maintained daily by crews beginning again tomorrow morning.

    Fire 7 is approximately 13,714 hectares as of 7 a.m. this morning and is 8 km northwest of Pine Lake, and approximately 36.5km from Fort Smith. This fire saw extreme fire behaviour and significant growth towards Pine Lake Road today. Today, fire specialists had hoped to conduct landscape level ignition operations to limit the spread towards Pine Lake. Unfortunately, the smoke and visibility conditions in the area where ignition was needed was less than 0.5km, grounding air support which was crucial to this operation. Winds are forecast to be favourable to try and complete this work tomorrow with bucketing support from one helicopter.

    Air tanker support from Government of the Northwest Territories as well as the province of Alberta was requested to assist with putting down retardant lines in the Pine Lake area, but heavy smoke and low visibility didn’t allow for these efforts. Tanker support may be requested again tomorrow if conditions allow.

    Fire 15 also experienced extreme fire behaviour today, however, following a more accurate mapping of the perimeter since being detected yesterday, this fire is estimated to be much smaller than previously estimated at approximately 11.5 ha. Crews were able to install a pump and hoselay around most of the fire yesterday, and will continue working on the fire tomorrow if it is safe to do so.

    Fire 15 is approximately 16km east of Pine Lake and 55km southwest of Hay Camp. This fire does not currently pose any risk to any communities at this time.

    There is an extended area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Bridge to Peace Point. Access to the Salt River Day Use Area, surrounding trails and the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.


    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 49,864 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River.

    Today, Fire 14 saw significant fire behaviour on the north flank, driven by shifting winds. Fire specialists conducted a second ignition operation to back the fire into Trident Creek to limit the potential of the fire crossing Trident Creek, and so far this has held. This operation was supported by two helicopters from the Paskwa Fire in the Province of Alberta.

    The team will continue to monitor for opportunities to conduct these indirect suppression tactics to limit spread of the fire towards the community and values. Forecast rain later next week may allow for direct suppression efforts to occur along the flank closest to Garden River.

    Eight bulldozers and two excavators continued building control lines, moving south from dozer line A towards the Peace River.

    Crews maintained structure protection around the cabin closest to the southwest flank of the fire. A crew continues to be based out of the Paskwa fire base with one helicopter, in order to continue assessing cabins and maintaining sprinkler systems already in place in the area more easily and efficiently.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Sierra Stinson at 867-621-0764.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.


    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Bridge to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Salt River Day Use Area and ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    For further information, contact:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 11, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Weather conditions in the park today are again expected to be very hot and very dry, with strong winds gusting up to 45 km/h These conditions create extreme fire behaviour, with means high potential for active fires to grow very quickly.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 76 fire personnel, four dozers, two excavators and four helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 49,864 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River.

    Yesterday Fire 14 saw significant fire behaviour on the northeast flank. Running crown fire and spotting between 500 metres and one kilometre ahead of the fire front was observed. The fire remains on the east side of Trident Creek. Shifting winds may challenge this flank of the fire today.

    Fire specialists conducted a small ignition operation to back the fire into Trident Creek to limit the potential of the fire crossing Trident Creek. The team will continue to monitor for opportunities to conduct these indirect suppression tactics to limit spread of the fire towards the community and values. Forecast rain later next week may allow for direct suppression efforts to occur along the flank closest to Garden River.

    Eight bulldozers and two excavators completed work on Dozer Line A, a second fuel break line in the park, between the community of Garden River and Fire 14.

    One crew continues to assess cabins in the area and maintain sprinkler systems already in place. A crew continues to be based out of the Paskwa fire base with one helicopter, which will make maintaining structure protection faster and more efficient.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2, Fire 7 and Fire 15)

    There is an extended area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Bridge to Peace Point. Access to the Salt River Day Use Area, surrounding trails and the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,155 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    The fire challenged existing control lines yesterday due to the hot, dry and windy conditions. Fire behaviour is again expected to be extreme today, so crews will continue reinforce lines where possible until it’s unsafe to do so. Three helicopters will be bucketing Fire 2 earlier in the day, to put out spot fires as conditions allow.

    Structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area continue to be maintained daily by crews.

    Fire 7 is approximately 13,714 hectares and is 8 km northwest of Pine Lake. This fire is currently burning in an old burned area from 2014 but saw some growth overnight. Today, fire specialists are preparing for opportunities to conduct landscape level ignition operations to limit the spread towards Pine Lake. Air tanker support from Government of the Northwest Territories has been requested to assist with ignition operations, though heavy smoke locally may impact these operations.

    Today, Fire 15 was added to the Pine Lake Complex and the Incident Management Team took control of the response. Fire 15 was detected on Saturday, June 10th, 2023. It is approximately 16km east of Pine Lake and 55km southwest of Hay Camp. This fire does not currently pose any risk to the community.

    Yesterday crews, supported by helicopter bucketing and air tankers from the Government of the Northwest Territories worked on suppressing this new start. Hot, dry and windy conditions led to fire growth and the fire is now approximately 20 hectares. Crews were able to install a pump and hoselay around most of the fire, and will continue working on the fire today. If available, additional air support will be requested to assist today.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Sierra Stinson at 867-621-0764.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from the Salt River Bridge to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Salt River Day Use Area and ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    For further information, contact:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 10, 2023 – 11:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    There is one new fire in Wood Buffalo National Park since yesterday’s update, the cause of this fire is currently unknown. Fire 15 was detected on Saturday, June 10th 2023. It is approximately 16 km east of Pine Lake and is estimated to be 4 hectares. This fire is currently being assessed by fire specialists and will be actioned by crews as needed.

    All 15 fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 11, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2 and Fire 7 are the Pine Lake Fires. Fire 11 has been added to the Davidson Lake Fires due to its growing proximity to the other four fires in the group and will be reported together moving forward.

    Weather conditions in the park today are expected to be very hot and very dry, with strong southern winds gusting up to 45km/hr. There is a chance we’ll see dry lightning later in the day with little to no precipitation. These conditions create extreme fire behaviour, with means high potential for active fires to grow very quickly.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 77 fire personnel, four dozers, two excavators and five helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today. Four fire crews from other Parks Canada places were added to response efforts yesterday.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 47,907 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River. Yesterday, Fire 14 again did not pass Trident Creek, but may see some growth today with expected extreme fire behaviour conditions.

    Fire specialists will keep monitoring Fire 14 today to try to hold the fire to Trident creek. They will also look for ignition opportunities to limit the fire’s spread by bringing it to natural features such as creeks and wet areas. One crew continues to assess cabins in the area and maintain sprinkler systems already in place. A new crew arrived yesterday and will be based out of the Paskwa fire base with one helicopter, which will make maintaining structure protection faster and more efficient.

    Eight bulldozers and two excavators officially completed the first fire guard along the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park yesterday and finished half of Dozer Line A, a second fuel break line in the park, between the community of Garden River and Fire 14. Today, they’ll continue working toward completion of the second guard.

    One fire crew, a helicopter and 4 fire specialists are now based in the Garden River area. Incident Management Team members are working on options to move more personnel to the Garden River area to manage the Davidson Lake Fires more efficiently.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,155 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Dozers started work on a line along the northeastern edge of Fire 2 yesterday and crews started reinforcing the northwestern fire guard line with pumps and hoselays and actioning hot spots. Fire behaviour is expected to be extreme today, so crews will continue with this work again today until it’s unsafe to do so. Three helicopters will be bucketing Fire 2 earlier in the day, to put out spot fires as conditions allow.

    Structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area continue to be maintained daily by crews.

    There is an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 is approximately 10,938 hectares and is 11 km northwest of Pine Lake. This fire is currently burning in an old burned area from 2014 and being monitored for opportunities to conduct landscape level ignition operations to bring the fire to identified natural features if required.


    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    For further information, contact:

    Sierra Stinson
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 9, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 14 lightning-caused fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2 and Fire 7 are the Pine Lake Fires.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 77 fire personnel, eight dozers, two excavators and five helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today. Three fire crews from other Parks Canada places arrived today to help with efforts.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 32,909 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River. Yesterday was not a big growth day and the same is expected for today. Fire 14 grew about 300 metres toward Trident Creek.

    Four bulldozers and two excavators almost completed the first fire guard along the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park yesterday. They will finish this guard today and add four more bulldozers to the operation. Personnel scouted the second dozer line yesterday and will begin that work in the coming days.

    Fire specialists will keep monitoring Fire 14 today for ignition opportunities to tie the fire into Trident Creek to try and limit the fire’s spread. Yesterday, crews continued to assess cabins in the area and maintained sprinkler systems already in place.

    Three fire personnel are based in the Garden River area, with one fire crew and a helicopter expected to be stationed out of the Paskwa base in next few days. Incident Management Team members are working on options to move more personnel to the Garden River area as work continues on managing the Davidson Lake Fires.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,077 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Dozers continued work on a line west of Pine Lake Road along the northwestern edge of Fire 2 yesterday and, as weather conditions and fire behaviour permit, crews will start reinforcing this line with hand ignition today. Dozers will also start on refreshing an old dozer line on the west side of Pine Lake Road. This will help remove fuel and limit the spread of the wildfire toward Pine Lake.

    Fire specialists will continue to monitor conditions today and look for opportunities to complete planned ignition work.

    Structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area continue to be maintained daily by crews.

    There is an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 is approximately 6,030 hectares and is 11 km northwest of Pine Lake.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

     

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    Weather Forecast

    The forecast for today calls for hot and dry conditions, with a high around 30 degrees and low humidity. Lighter southern winds are expected with no precipitation. Fire specialists are expecting to see higher fire behaviour than earlier in the week, with an anticipated continual increase into and during the weekend.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 8, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    All 14 lightning-caused fires confirmed last week are being referred to as the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2 and Fire 7 are the Pine Lake Fires. This change was made for clarity and helps us better communicate progress to the public.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    There are 53 fire personnel, eight dozers, two excavators and five helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today. This complex is being managed by a full Parks Canada Incident Management Team. Three fire crews from other Parks Canada places are expected to arrive today to help with efforts.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 29,777 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River.

    Three bulldozers and one excavator started to create a fire guard on the boundary of Wood Buffalo National Park and made great progress. They will finish the guard this morning and begin work along the old road to Peace Point to access the location where they will construct a second containment line.

    Fire specialists were hopeful for an opportunity to begin ignition work yesterday to attempt to hold Fire 14 at Trident Creek, but wind shifts created smokier conditions, making it too difficult to continue. They will look for more ignition windows in the coming days.

    Fire growth was primarily wind driven yesterday, with the most action seen on the northern flank of the fire. Fire personnel observed a lot of smoke yesterday on Fire 14, so Garden River may experience smoky conditions today.

    Crews continued to install structure protection on cabins and other infrastructure in the area, primarily on structures pointed out to fire personnel by the community at Tuesday morning’s meeting. Crews also continued to maintain sprinkler systems already in place.

    The Davidson Lake Fires have not seen any significant rainfall and extreme dry conditions will continue today.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,077 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    All planned older fire breaks were refreshed by dozers two days ago and yesterday, they began work on a guard along the northwestern edge of the fire. These fire breaks will remove fuel and help to limit the spread of the fire toward Pine Lake.

    Structure protection and sprinkler systems installed on infrastructure and cabins in the Pine Lake area continue to be maintained daily by crews.

    There is an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 was approximately 5,047 hectares at its last mapping and is 11 km northwest of Pine Lake. This fire saw some wind-driven growth yesterday, primarily along its eastern edge.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice. A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park.

    Weather Forecast

    Today’s forecast calls for dry and windy conditions again, with northerly winds seeing gusts of 15 km/hr. A continued drying trend and climbing temperatures are expected in the coming days, and conditions are predicted for a return to more extreme fire behaviour going into the weekend.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire update: June 7, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    Parks Canada will now be referring to all 14 lightning-caused fires confirmed last week as the Davidson -Pine Lake Complex. Fire 8, 9, 13, and 14 are the Davidson Lake Fires, and Fire 2 and Fire 7 are the Pine Lake Fires. This change was made for clarity and helps us better communicate progress to the public.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 66 fire personnel, four dozers and five helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    A Parks Canada Incident Management is now fully in place and will be managing the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex moving forward.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 29,777 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River.

    Yesterday morning, Parks Canada fire specialists hosted a community meeting in Garden River to discuss containment options along the eastern edge of Fire 14, the largest of the Davidson Lake Fires, protecting structures and answered community questions and concerns. Parks Canada fire personnel will monitor for ignition opportunities in the Trident Creek area, as fire behaviour permits. A team leader for heavy equipment is stationed in Garden River, along with 4 dozers, an excavator and a water tender. Crews continue to maintain sprinkler systems that were installed to protect cabins in the area.

    While the area received some rain yesterday morning, the Davidson Lake Fires have not seen any significant rainfall and extreme dry conditions will continue today.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,077 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Crews completed refreshing fuel breaks and continue to maintain sprinkler lines on all values in the Pine Lake area.

    There continues to be an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 was approximately 5,047 hectares at its last mapping and is 11 km northwest of Pine Lake.

    For full updates on the Paskwa Wildfire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Up-to-date size estimates and locations are available on our Fire Status Map.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and need more information, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Report suspicious smoke or wildfires to the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. The closure is in effect until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    Today’s forecast calls for dry and windy conditions, with winds gusting up to 50 km/h from the south/southwest. A continued drying trend and climbing temperatures are expected in the coming days.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 6, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    Parks Canada will now be referring to all 14 lightning-caused fires confirmed last week as the Davidson -Pine Lake Complex and will be referring to Fire 2 and Fire 7 as the Pine Lake Fires, and Fire 8, 9, 13, and 14 as the Davidson Lake Fires. This change was made for clarity and will help the incoming Incident Management Team to better communicate progress to the public.

    Davidson-Pine Lake Complex

    No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 73 fire personnel, four dozers and five helicopters responding to the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex today.

    A full Parks Canada Incident Management Team arrives this afternoon and will be managing the Davidson-Pine Lake Complex moving forward.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Lake fires.

    The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 29,777 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River. After being unable to view the fire due to heavy smoke, fire personnel were able to map a more accurate perimeter of the fires earlier this week.

    The Davidson Lake Fires have not seen any significant rainfall and extreme dry conditions in this area continue. Fire specialists will continue discussing potential containment options along the eastern edge of Fire 14 with Little Red River Cree Nation. These options could include ignition work and putting in fuel breaks using heavy equipment like dozers. There will be a community meeting in Garden River today at 10:00 a.m. to discuss options and listen to community concerns. Proposed plans to be discussed with the community before work begins.

    In the last week, crews have installed structure protection on over 12 cabins in the area. They’ve been visiting and maintaining these sprinkler systems and will continue this work today.

    Pine Lake Fires (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,077 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Crews continued to maintain sprinkler lines on all values in the Pine Lake area and will complete an inventory of the structure protection in place today.

    Four dozers completed refreshing fuel breaks yesterday, which means one small fuel break is the only one left to do. Winds are forecast to be favourable today to carry out strategic ignition lines in a few areas, and fire specialists will implement that work if conditions allow.

    Higher humidity and some precipitation helped to reduce fire behaviour in the last two days. However, given the extreme drought conditions within Wood Buffalo National Park, and with high temperatures and no precipitation in the forecast this week, we expect more extreme fire behaviour to return.

    There continues to be an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake Area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 was approximately 5,047 hectares at its last mapping and is around 11 km northwest of Pine Lake.

    Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. This fire started in the community of Fox Lake in early May and is being actively managed by Alberta Wildfire. The Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 10, 11, 12, 3 and 4.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and want to know if it’s registered with Parks Canada or would like to know how close any of the active fires are, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Report suspicious smoke or wildfires to the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    There is little to no precipitation in the forecast for today in the Wood Buffalo National Park area, with strong, gusty winds from the southwest. The next few days will see drier conditions and climbing temperatures. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 5, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    Fire Danger Status: Very High

    Parks Canada will now be referring to all 14 lightning-caused fires confirmed last week as the Pine Lake-Davidson Complex and will be referring to Fire 2 and Fire 7 as the Pine Lake Branch, and Fire 8, 9, 13, and 14 as the Davidson Branch. This change was made for clarity and will help the incoming Incident Management Team to better organize operations.

    Pine Lake-Davidson Complex

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 48 fire personnel, four dozers and five helicopters responding to the Pine Lake-Davidson Complex.

    Two more fire specialists from other Parks Canada places arrived yesterday, and a full Parks Canada Incident Management Team will be arriving tomorrow afternoon and will be managing the Pine Lake-Davidson Complex moving forward.

    Pine Lake Branch (Fire 2 and Fire 7)

    Fire 2 was last estimated at 12,077 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    Good news from yesterday:

      - Fire 2 received approximately 4.2 mm of rain
      - Crews completed structure protection on all values in the Pine Lake area
      - Four dozers continued to refresh fuel breaks and only have two more to complete
      - Fire personnel were able to map the fire perimeter more accurately

    Higher humidity and some precipitation may provide a window for crews to work on the ground this week to suppress and limit fire growth in key areas. However, given the extreme drought conditions within Wood Buffalo National Park, we may see more extreme fire behaviour return without more precipitation.

    There continues to be an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake Area is prohibited until further notice.

    Fire 7 was approximately 5,047 hectares at its last mapping and is around 11 km northwest of Pine Lake.

    Davidson Branch (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14)

    There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Branch fires. The fires in the Davidson Lake area are approximately 29,777 hectares combined and located 26 km northeast of Garden River. There were challenges last week with poor visibility and our ability to map and monitor these fires because of smoke conditions. Yesterday, Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel mapped a more accurate perimeter of the fires and observed more moderate fire behaviour like surface fire with a few torching trees, likely due to higher humidity and lower temperatures. Fire specialists will be discussing potential containment options along the eastern edge of Fire 14 with Little Red River Cree First Nation this week. These options could include ignition work and putting in fuel breaks using heavy equipment like dozers.

    In the past few days, crews have installed structure protection on over 12 cabins in the area. They’ve been visiting and maintaining the sprinkler systems for the last two days and will continue this work today.

    Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. This fire started in the community of Fox Lake in early May and is being actively managed by Alberta Wildfire. The Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 10, 11, 12, 3 and 4.

    If you have a cabin in Wood Buffalo National Park and want to know if it’s registered with Parks Canada or would like to know how close any of the active fires are, please send an email to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or call Alyssa Etsell at 867-621-0764.

    Report suspicious smoke or wildfires to the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The temperature today in Wood Buffalo National Park is forecasted to remain in the low 20s with some possible precipitation and a chance of a thunderstorm. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 4, 2023 – 10:00 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 52 fire personnel, and five helicopters responding to wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Today will potentially see reduced fire behaviour, with cooler temperatures expected and a chance of 3-5mm of rain across the park.

    Two more fire specialists from other Parks Canada places are arriving today to help with ignition and heavy equipment work.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 was last estimated at 10,400 hectares and is within 9 km of Pine Lake. Weather conditions continued to provide more moderate fire behaviour yesterday on Fire 2. Four dozers were successful again at refreshing two more previous fuel breaks around Pine Lake and will begin work today on two more. Crews continued to run and maintain structure protection systems they’ve set up in the Pine Lake area yesterday and started FireSmarting work in some areas. Yesterday, this fire attempted to grow to the southwest, but ran into old burn from 2019 which acted as a fuel break. Specialists have planned strategic ignition lines in a few areas, and will implement that work in the coming days, as conditions allow. With better humidity levels and a potential for rain in today’s forecast, bucketing may be possible to work on limited spread of the fire on the northwestern end. This weather may also provide a window for crews to work on the ground to suppress and limit fire growth in key areas.
      • There are two helicopters, a water tender, four dozers and eight fire personnel responding to this fire.
      • There continues to be an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake Area is now prohibited.
      • This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.
    • Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14) is around 28,615 hectares combined and located in the Davidson Lake area of Wood Buffalo National Park, 26 km northeast of Garden River. Fire growth yesterday was mostly limited to the northern edge. There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Complex. Poor visibility due to smoke created challenges earlier this week with monitoring this complex, but specialists were able to fly and plan strategic control lines on Friday. Fire personnel are now discussing potential containment options with members of the Little Red River Cree Emergency Management Team in Garden River. These options could include doing ignition work and putting in fuel breaks using heavy equipment like dozers.
      • Yesterday, crews visited at-risk cabins in the area to service and maintain sprinkler systems previously put in place and installed additional structure protection on other at-risk cabins.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. This fire started in the community of Fox Lake in early May and is being actively managed by Alberta Wildfire. The Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road. On May 29, crews were successful at containing these fires, which are now classified as Under Control. A crew will patrol these fires later this week.

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and, as visibility allows, structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 7, 10, 11, 12, 3 and 4.

    You can view up-to-date size estimates and locations in the attached Fire Status Map.

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park have been creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection, monitoring and suppression more difficult.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The temperature today in Wood Buffalo National Park is forecasted to provide some relief, with higher humidity levels, cooler weather and a potential for some minimal precipitation.

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires and are expected throughout the region today. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 3, 2023 – 1:00 p.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 43 fire personnel, and five helicopters responding to wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    There continues to be an area and road closure in place for Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point. Access to the Pine Lake Area is now prohibited.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 was last estimated at 10,400 hectares yesterday afternoon. This fire is within 9 km of Pine Lake. Winds and weather conditions yesterday led to more moderate fire behaviour than seen for the past few days. Fire personnel planned a few strategic ignition lines which will include backburning to create fuel breaks. Ignition will be implemented over the weekend if conditions allow. Crews were successful on Thursday at putting structure protection in place on all private cabins and other values in the Pine Lake area. Yesterday, they tested the interconnected sprinkler systems and set up an additional sprinkler line along the road to Pine Lake Campground. Today, crews will do some FireSmarting in the area and set up more structure protection as needed. Four dozers worked on renewing older fire guards around Pine Lake yesterday and were successful at completing another full guard – they’ll continue this work today.
      • There are two helicopters, a water tender, four dozers and eight fire personnel responding to this fire. Fire behaviour and availability permitting, air tankers may be called in.
      • The area closure for Pine Lake was put in as a precautionary measure. This will continue to give fire personnel space while they work.
      • This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.
    • Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14) is around 22,000 hectares combined and located in the Davidson Lake area of Wood Buffalo National Park, 28 km northeast of Garden River. There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Complex. Poor visibility due to smoke has created challenges with monitoring this fire, but fire personnel were able to fly the area yesterday. Specialists will use the information gathered from the flight to lay out potential control lines and start looking at bringing in extra resources to begin containment options. Crews were also able to return to the area today and service sprinkler systems previously put in place on at-risk cabins and install additional structure protection on other at-risk cabins.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. This fire started in the community of Fox Lake in early May and is being actively managed by Alberta Wildfire. The Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road. On May 29, crews were successful at containing these fires, which are now classified as Under Control. A crew will patrol these fires later this week.
    • Fire 7 is approximately 970 hectares and 11 km to the northwest of Pine Lake.
    • Fire 11’s last recorded size was 6,844 hectares. The fire is being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and, as visibility allows, structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 7, 10, 12, 3 and 4.

    You can view up-to-date size estimates and locations in the attached Fire Status Map.

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park have been creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection, monitoring and suppression more difficult.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The temperature today in Wood Buffalo National Park is forecasted to be around 25 degrees, with no precipitation. The weather will remain hot and dry. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires and are expected throughout the region today. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 2, 2023 – 1:00 p.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. No new fires have been detected since yesterday’s update. There are 49 fire personnel, and five helicopters responding to wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Yesterday saw extreme fire behaviour, with substantial growth on most fires within the park, especially Fire 2, Fire 7 and the Davidson Complex. Smoky conditions provided challenges again yesterday with monitoring and suppressing wildfires.

    One additional fire crew and four fire specialists arrived yesterday afternoon from other Parks Canada places to help with efforts.

    There is a revised area and road closure in place as of 10:00 a.m. yesterday. Access to Pine Lake Area is now prohibited, and travel along Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is not allowed. Please follow the area closure in place.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 is estimated to be approximately 5,000 hectares. This fire took a significant run yesterday to the northeast and is now within 9 km of Pine Lake. Winds are expected today to push the fire to the west which may help to limit spread on the north and east sides of the fire. Extreme fire behaviour in the afternoon has made suppression efforts via air and direct response difficult. Today, fire personnel will be looking to plan strategic ignition lines, to implement over the weekend if conditions allow. As visibility and fire behaviour permit, bucketing will continue earlier in the day before fire behaviour picks up. Yesterday, crews were successful at putting structure protection in place at all cabins and other values in the Pine Lake area. They’ll continue setting up sprinkler lines in the area today. One dozer continued renewing older fire guards in the Pine Lake area yesterday, and additional heavy equipment will be added today to strategically continuing reinforcing guards.
      • There are two helicopters, a water tender, three dozers and thirteen fire personnel responding to this fire. Visibility and availability permitting, air tankers may be called in.
      • The area closure for Pine Lake was put in as a precautionary measure. This will continue to give fire personnel time to further assess the situation and give them space while they work.

    This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to the community at this time.

    • Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14) is around 16,500 hectares combined and located in the Davidson Lake area of Wood Buffalo National Park and 25 km northeast of Garden River. There is no current risk to Garden River from the Davidson Complex. Poor visibility due to smoke continues to create challenges with monitoring this fire. As visibility allows, fire personnel will return to this area today to maintain sprinkler systems and install structure protection on additional at-risk cabins. Specialists are continuing work on assessing containment options on this complex and are planning to fly the area today.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. The Paskwa Wildfire is classified as out of control, its last recorded size was 88,094 hectares. Crews continue to work along the southern perimeter, extending the fire guard in the southwest by extinguishing an area 30m (100 ft) wide along the line to prevent fire spread. To the east, beyond the fire guard, ground crews are extinguishing hot spots along the southern perimeter with support from helicopters bucketing. Protecting the community of Garden River is the top priority for the Alberta Wildfire Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire. Structure protection remains in place in the community of Garden River with the use of sprinklers and a high-volume water system. Structural firefighters also remain in the community ready to respond if needed. The IMT is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road. On May 29, crews were successful at containing these fires, which are now classified as Under Control. A crew will patrol these fires later this week.
    • Fire 7 saw significant growth yesterday and is now approximately 970 hectares. It is 14 km to the northwest of Pine Lake.
    • Fire 11’s last recorded size was 6,844 hectares. The fire is being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and, as visibility allows, structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 10, 12, 3 and 4.

    You can view up-to-date size estimates and locations in the attached Fire Status Map.

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park are creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection, monitoring and suppression more difficult.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is expected to be in the low 20s, dry and windy today. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires and are expected throughout the region today. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Fire update: June 1, 2023 – 1:00 p.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes. Additional updates with more in-depth information on fires of note will be released by 8:00 p.m. MT as needed.

    There are currently 14 confirmed fires in Wood Buffalo National Park. No new fires have been confirmed since yesterday’s update.

    Situation Update

    Yesterday’s smoky skies led to extreme visibility issues and created challenges with monitoring and suppressing wildfires within the park. There are 44 fire personnel, and five helicopters responding to wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    One additional fire crew and four fire specialists will arrive this afternoon from other Parks Canada places to help with efforts.

    New: There is a revised area and road closure in place as of 10:00 a.m. today. Access to Pine Lake Area is now prohibited, and travel along Pine Lake Road from Parson’s Lake Road to Peace Point is not allowed. Please follow the area closure in place.

    Fires of note:

    • Fire 2 is now 11 km southwest of Pine Lake and is estimated to be approximately 2,600 hectares. This fire is 70 km from Fort Smith and poses no risk to any communities currently. There are three helicopters, a water tender, two dozers and sixteen fire personnel responding to this fire. Air tankers may be used, if available. Efforts are focused on limiting spread and trying to contain the northern and eastern sides of the fire. Yesterday, fire behaviour was extreme and when coupled with poor visibility, created many challenges with suppression efforts. Progress was made by heavy equipment, who continued to work at renewing older fire guards in the Pine Lake area yesterday and will continue that work today. Fire personnel were presented with a beneficial wind shift and did ignition work yesterday along Pine Lake Road. The wind is expected to shift today, so this operation made good progress in trying to limit the future spread of the fire to the east side of Pine Lake Road.
      The area closure for Pine Lake was put in as a precautionary measure. This will give fire personnel time to further assess the situation and give them space while they work on Fire 2. Crews will assess the area today and begin putting in structure protection as needed.
    • Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 13 and 14) is located in the Davidson Lake area of Wood Buffalo National Park. There is no current risk to any communities from the Davidson Complex. This complex saw some growth yesterday, mostly on the eastern side. Poor visibility due to smoke created challenges monitoring this fire yesterday and limited flying abilities. Fire personnel put structure protection in place on at-risk cabins in the area on Monday evening and they were visited again by a fire crew on Tuesday. As visibility allows, fire personnel will return to this area to maintain. Specialists are starting work on assessing containment options on this complex.
    • Fire 1 (Paskwa Wildfire – Fox Lake, Alberta) crossed into Wood Buffalo National Park along the park’s southwestern boundary on May 26, 2023. The Paskwa Wildfire is classified as out of control, its last recorded size was 88,094 hectares. There was reduced smoke in Garden River yesterday, with lighter winds and moderate fire behaviour. Protecting the community of Garden River is the top priority for the Alberta Wildfire Incident Management Team (IMT) managing operations on the Paskwa Wildfire. The IMT is working in consultation with Wood Buffalo National Park to limit fire spread within the park and protect Garden River. For full updates on the Paskwa Fire, please visit: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Other confirmed fires:

    • Fire 5 and Fire 6 are small spot fires estimated at around 0.2 and 0.5 hectares (respectively), located off the eastern side of Pine Lake Road. On May 29, crews were successful at containing these fires, which are now classified as Under Control. They will patrol these fires later this week and work toward confirming full extinguishment.
    • Fire 11 is around 5.5 km southwest of Isidore Lake and 60 km northeast of Garden River. Its last recorded size was 760 hectares and is being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel. Structure protection will be put in place around values in the area if needed.

    All other confirmed fires are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and, as visibility allows, structure protection will be put in place around values-at-risk in the area if needed. These include fires 7, 10, 12, 3 and 4.

    You can view up-to-date size estimates and locations in the attached Fire Status Map.

    Note: Smoky conditions throughout Wood Buffalo National Park are creating poor visibility and presenting challenges. These visibility issues are making detection, monitoring and suppression more difficult. Yesterday as well as this morning, helicopters were not able to fly because of these visibility issues.

    It is especially important to report suspicious smoke or wildfires if you see them while travelling in the park. Call the Wood Buffalo National Park Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    Get up-to-date information on wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park at our website here.

    Closures and Fire Bans

    NEW – Pine Lake Road from Parsons Lake Road to Peace Point is CLOSED, which includes ALL of the Pine Lake area. This is a precautionary measure to give fire personnel time to set up structure protection and give them space while they work to contain Fire 2. The closure is effective June 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. until further notice.

    A recreational fire ban is in place for all visitor facilities in Wood Buffalo National Park. This includes all day-use areas and Pine Lake Campground.

    Weather Forecast

    The weather for the Wood Buffalo National Park area is forecasted to be in the low 20s today, with smoky conditions and no precipitation. Easterly winds are expected in the evening. Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:

    Smoky conditions often accompany wildfires and are expected in the southern area of the park. The direction and amount of smoke in an area depends on weather and changes in wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    alyssa.etsell@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Report wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

     

    July 2023
    Fire Information Update – July 31, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    NWT Highway 5 is open. A road closure was put in place for a small section of NWT Highway 5 yesterday but was lifted late in the afternoon. The closure was put in as a precautionary measure based on observed extreme fire behaviour, wind speeds and projected growth rates. The highway was reopened as conditions improved when suppression efforts from three bucketing helicopters paid off, wind speed calmed and the fire’s growth toward the highway stalled. Travellers are advised to drive with caution and anticipate smoke along the highway. Fire personnel will continue to re-assess for safety and temporary closures may be implemented again, as necessary.

    NEW Area Closure: The Salt Plains area is now under an area closure. This includes the Salt Plains Access Road, Salt Plains Day Use Area and trails in the area. The Whooping Crane Roadside Pullout is also now under an area closure. These closures will give fire personnel the space to safely conduct operations in the area as needed.

    Reminder: The Parks Canada fire base and its adjacent airfield are a very active operations base and only authorized personnel are allowed access to these areas. This ensures the safety of fire personnel as well as the public and we thank you in advance for giving us space while we action and manage fires within the park.

    Don’t forget to tell the folks you know who aren’t online or on Facebook that they can get information on fires in the area by checking out the fire information boards put up around Fort Smith. You can find information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, NWT Fire and the Town of Fort Smith on boards located in front of Petro/Tim Hortons, the Community Rec Centre and Kaesers grocery store. The boards have bins on them that contain maps and printouts that you can take home with you. You can also visit the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) to get in-person and printout information or call a Fire Information Officer at 867-621-0764.

    There are 112 personnel and 9 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Yesterday saw periods of extreme fire behaviour and some areas of Fire 7 saw large growth. The northwestern edge of Fire 7 remains approximately 4.5 km from Highway 5 at this time, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no current risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Dozers began tightlining (which means to create a fuel break or guard as close to the fire’s edge as possible) Fire 7 at 5 a.m. MT yesterday morning to limit future eastern spread of the northwestern edge. They’ll continue this work today as conditions allow. Three helicopters also bucketed this edge of the fire today to try to cool down certain areas of the perimeter and limit spread toward the highway.

    A lot of work was done yesterday to set up structure protection on values in the Highway 5 area. Crews ensured the protection systems, which are comprised of networks of sprinklers and hose attached to a pump, were ran on values yesterday and will maintain the systems again today.

    Once crews were finished these tasks yesterday, they moved onto the eastern side of the Pine Lake Complex to assess some values in the area and install structure protection as needed. This side of Fire 7 has seen some growth in the last two days. As time permits today, fire specialists will do a flight over the eastern edge to assess and start planning for potential ignition opportunities to limit the fire’s spread in the future.

    There are crews and designated tree fallers still working in the Pine Lake area on danger trees and extinguishing hot spots. The goal in this area is to establish a 100-foot extinguished perimeter/line around all values and guards.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/9/11/13/14)

    Crews will do work in the coming days on the Davidson Lake Complex to get to a place where structure protection systems can be removed from values in the area and re-deployed elsewhere in the park. Before fire personnel remove these systems, crews will ensure each value has an established cold perimeter around it, which will require hot spotting and hand ignition as necessary.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 remains approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last week. Earlier this week a remote camera was installed in the area to better aide monitoring efforts.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park. Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area. Find more details on all restrictions and area closures in place throughout the park by visiting the park’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    Today the temperature is expected to reach 25 degrees, and 40% relative humidity. Fire behaviour is expected to decrease as the day progresses, with a possibility of minimal precipitation later in the day.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 30, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 108 personnel and 9 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today. One Initial Attack crew and one helicopter from Parks Canada continues to support @NWT fire with values protection work related to fires north of Fort Smith. A new helicopter with substantial bucketing power arrived last night and will support fire efforts today.

    There are fire information boards throughout Fort Smith, featuring information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire. Find them at the Petro/Tim Hortons, Community Rec Centre, and Kaeser’s grocery store. Maps, information and printouts on these boards will be updated as often as we are able. Printouts and information are also available at the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) in Fort Smith.

    NOTE: Smoky conditions should be expected along Highway 5, creating areas of reduced visibility. Heavier smoke, coupled with a large herds of bison spotted along the highway, will require travellers to drive with caution and reduce speed when required.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 6 km from Highway 5 at this time. There is no current risk to the Town of Fort Smith. Helicopters bucketed the active area of the fire yesterday, ahead of a heavy equipment group pushing in a dozer guard (fuel break) along the fire’s edge. Resources had to be pulled off the fire in the afternoon due to unsafe conditions. Conditions improved later in the day and helicopters went back to bucket the northwestern edge of fire 7 until the end of the operational period.

    An air tanker group from the Government of the Northwest Territories was called in to help action the fire, and responded for an hour before visibility and fire behaviour did not allow for effective suppression actions.

    The safety of fire personnel and the public is Parks Canada’s top priority in all fire management operations. We are focused on protecting fire personnel, the public, critical infrastructure and values in the area.

    Crews are still finding hot spots and heat in the Pine Lake area and will continue to patrol the area, fall trees as necessary and extinguish hot spots today. The goal is to establish a 100-foot extinguished perimeter/line around all values and guards in the area.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/ 9/11/13/14)

    A remote camera will be set up in the coming days along the western dozer guard, which will help with monitoring the fire from a distance once crews confirm the line is cold and the fire is moved to a monitoring status. The focus for crews is securing a 100-ft cold line on the spot fires along Fire 14’s western edge. Infrared scans of the area were completed last night, and crews will use the results to focus in on any remaining heat shown in the scans.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 remains approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last week. Earlier this week a remote camera was installed in the area to better aide monitoring efforts.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park. Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area. Find more details on all restrictions and area closures in place throughout the park by visiting the park’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    The temperature today is expected to reach 28 degrees, with a relative humidity of about 30%. Winds are predicted to come from the southwest at 8 km/hour, gusting 18-25 km/hr. There is no precipitation expected today, with a high likelihood of continued extreme fire behaviour.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 29, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 103 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    There are now fire information boards throughout Fort Smith, featuring information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire. Find them at the Petro/Tim Hortons, Community Rec Centre, and Kaeser’s grocery store. Maps, information and printouts on these boards will be updated as often as we are able. Printouts and information are also available at the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) in Fort Smith.

    Fire updates:

    One Initial Attack crew and one helicopter from Parks Canada are supporting NWT Fire with values protection work related to fires north of Fort Smith.

    Yesterday crews patrolled what remained of Fire 27 and were able to officially call it Extinguished. Fire 28 is Under Control and crews will patrol in the coming days, with the goal of full extinguishment. Both of these fires are in the far western area of the park.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/ 9/11/13/14)

    Good progress has been made on securing a 100-ft cold line on the spot fires along Fire 14’s western edge. Infrared scans of the area will be done this evening – the results will show any remaining heat or hot spots and will be used to inform further work on these spot fires. A remote camera will be set up in the coming days along the western dozer guard, which will help with monitoring the fire from a distance once fire personnel confirm these areas are cold.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Helicopters continued to bucket Fire 7’s northwestern finger yesterday, while dozers kept pushing forward on a guard being built to the north of the finger. Once completed, this guard will help limit the spread of the fire, increase access for crews to do direct suppression work and may be used to initiate backburns.

    Fire personnel are monitoring fire behaviour along the eastern edge of the fire and will continue to look at containment strategies moving forward. Crews are still finding hot spots and heat in the Pine Lake area and will continue to patrol the area, fall trees as necessary and extinguish hot spots today. The goal is to establish a 100-foot extinguished perimeter/line around all values and guards in the area.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to pose no current risk to the public. It remains approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last week. Fire personnel are continuing to look for opportune ignition windows and other opportunities that could limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway. Earlier this week a remote camera was installed in the area to better aide monitoring efforts.

    NOTE: Smoky conditions should be expected along the highway, along with reduced visibility. Heavier smoke in the area, coupled with a large among of bison present along the highway, require travellers to drive with caution and reduce speed when required.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park. Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area. Find more details on all restrictions and area closures in place throughout the park by visiting the park’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    The temperature today is expected to reach 27-28 degrees, with a relative humidity of about 27%. Winds are predicted to come from the southwest at 15 km/hour, gusting 25-30 km/hour. There is no precipitation expected today, with a high likelihood of more extreme fire behaviour.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 28, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 100 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today. Yesterday was the first day for some incoming personnel joining the Incident Management Team (IMT), who replaced other personnel going on their days off.

    NEW! Information boards created in partnership with Alberta Wildfire and NWT Fire have been put up around Fort Smith at Petro/Tim Hortons and at the Fort Smith Community Rec Centre. Maps, information, and printouts on these boards will be updated as often as we are able. Printouts and information are also available at the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) in Fort Smith.

    Fire updates:

    Fire 28’s status was moved to Under Control, meaning the fire is not expected to grow outside its current boundaries, on Wednesday (July 26). Crews will patrol this fire to confirm full extinguishment in the coming days. Fire 27 was moved to Under Control status yesterday at approximately 2.4 hectares. Crews will patrol this fire today, with the goal of full extinguishment. Neither of these fires pose any risk to communities at this time.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/ 9/11/13/14)

    Crews continue to work on the spot fire just off Fire 14’s western edge and in another small area just to the north. They’ve been working in these areas for the past week and are seeking to extinguish 100 feet in. Infrared scans of the area will be done in the coming days. These scans are used to help detect any remaining hot spots and will help fire personnel confirm extinguishment along the western perimeter. Personnel tomorrow will do some work around values in the area as well as scout out a spot along the western dozer guard to station a remote camera, which will aid in monitoring the fire from a distance once scans and crews confirm these areas are cold.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Dozers continued work on a guard (also known as a fuel break) being constructed just north of Fire 7’s northwestern finger. Once completed, this guard will help limit the spread of the fire, increase access for crews to do direct suppression work and may be used to initiate backburns. Helicopters will continue to bucket the fire’s northwestern finger as needed to limit the spread of the fire to the north.

    Crews continue to do work in the Pine Lake area to establish extinguishment 50-100 feet in around values and along guards. This includes work like danger tree falling and hot spotting to ensure fire burning deep in the duff or soil is fully extinguished. It is tedious, hard work and crews continue to make good progress.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no risk to the public. Fire personnel continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportune ignition and other opportunities that could limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    NOTE: Smoky conditions should be expected along the highway, along with reduced visibility. Heavier smoke in the area, coupled with an increase in sightings of bison herds along the highway, require travellers to drive with caution and reduce speed when required.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park. Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area. Find more details on all restrictions and area closures in place throughout the park by visiting the park’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    The temperature today is expected to reach 26 degrees, with a relative humidity of about 28%. Winds are predicted to come from the southwest at 10 km/hour, with gusts varying from 15-20 km/hour. There is no precipitation expected today, with an anticipated increase in fire behaviour.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 27, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 111 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Crews worked again yesterday on Fire 28, which was found and immediately actioned on Tuesday (July 24). Their hard work paid off and this fire’s status was moved to Under Control yesterday, which means it is not expected to grow outside its current boundaries.

    Fire 27, remains at approximately 2.4 hectares and is located 10 km west of Hay Camp. Crews continued work yesterday on this fire and will continue to action today, with help from helicopter bucketing as required.

    These fires pose no risk to any communities at this time.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/ 9/11/13/14)

    Just over 24 mm of rain has fallen on the Davidson Lake fires since Tuesday afternoon. The precipitation has helped, and will continue to help, crews on the ground as they work over the next few days to extinguish 100 feet in around the spot fire located just off the western edge of Fire 14.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Dozers made progress yesterday on a guard (also known as a fuel break) being constructed just north of Fire 7’s northwestern finger. Once completed, this guard will help limit the spread of the fire, increase access for crews to do direct suppression work and may be used to initiate backburns. Helicopters will bucket the fire’s northwestern finger as needed today to limit the spread of the fire to the north.

    Crews continue to do work in the Pine Lake area to establish extinguishment 50-100 feet in around values and along guards. This is tedious, hard work and crews are making good progress.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no risk to the public. Fire personnel continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportune ignition and other opportunities that could limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    NOTE:, Smoky conditions should be expected along the highway, along with reduced visibility. Heavier smoke in the area, coupled with an increase in sightings of bison herds along the highway, require travellers to drive with caution and reduce speed when required.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park. Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice., Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area. Find more details on all restrictions and area closures in place throughout the park by visiting the park’s Important Bulletin page.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    Today’s forecast calls for a high of 24 degrees, averaged across the park. Winds will be lighter than we’ve seen in the past few days and coming from the northeast at 5 km/hr, gusting to 15-20/ km/hr. There is no precipitation in the forecast, with an expected return to hotter, drier weather over the coming days.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 26, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 131 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 467,103 hectares have burned.

    Recently confirmed fires

    Fire 28

    Fire personnel detected a new fire south of Fire 27 during a smoke patrol yesterday. One crew and one helicopter with bucketing capabilities initiated immediate suppression. The fire is 0.2 hectares and is located immediately south of Fire 27 on the south side of the Hornaday River.

    Fire 27

    Fire 27 is located 10 km west of Hay Camp and is an estimated 2.4 hectares. Three crews and two helicopters with buckets continued to action this fire yesterday.

    Suppression efforts will continue on both Fire 27 and Fire 28 today with the goal of full extinguishment.

    Currently, neither Fire 27 nor Fire 28 pose any risk to public safety.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    A much welcome 14mm of rain fell on the Davidson fires yesterday afternoon.

    An improvement in visibility allowed two crews and three helicopters to continue suppression efforts on the south-western edge of the fire. The same compliment of crews and equipment will be working in the area today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    The Pine Lake Complex also benefitted from cooler, wetter weather, receiving an estimated 8 mm – 10 mm of rain yesterday.

    Crews initiated construction of a dozer guard to prevent the spread of fire to values at risk in areas currently west and north of the fire, beginning at Parsons Lake Road. Fire personnel, a team of four bulldozers and a Nodwell is being used to do this work. A Nodwell is a two-tracked vehicle that serves as an off-road fire truck and a tool used for dust abatement.

    All values at risk remain intact.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no danger to the public. Fire personnel will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    NOTE: Smoky conditions should be expected along the highway, along with reduced visibility. Motorists are urged to drive with caution, obey signage and reduce speed when required. Watch for bison.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work to remove hazards for crews to work safely and respond to fire in the area.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    The forecast is calling for a high of 20 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 60 percent. Strong winds are anticipated, 20 km/h gusting to 45km/h, with the potential for thunder showers. A return to warmer, dryer weather is expected for Thursday.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 25, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    Yesterday’s thick smoke in the Fort Smith area resulted in poor air quality and reduced visibility in many areas within Wood Buffalo National Park.

    There are 126 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 439,929 hectares have burned.

    New Fire (Fire 27)

    A new fire was confirmed approximately 10 km west of Hay Camp late yesterday afternoon. Two fire crews and 3 helicopters with buckets initiated immediate suppression. This fire is an estimated 2 hectares. Fire 27 does not pose a risk to the public at this time. Crews will continue suppression today with the goal of full extinguishment.

    Weather

    A change in weather arrives today, with a high of 24 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 50 percent. Strong winds are anticipated, 20 km/h gusting to 40km/h. There’s an increased likelihood of precipitation in the Fort Smith area, with the potential for thunder showers.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Opportunities for fire crews to work in the area were limited due to dense, lingering smoke yesterday. Once visibility improved, two fire teams and three helicopters continued with suppression efforts on the south-western edge of the fire. Progress was made in hotspots indicated by remote scanning flights last week. Weather permitting, crews will return today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    Active fire behaviour continues in the north end of the Pine Lake Complex. Increased winds are expected to result in more active fire. Today, in anticipation of strong easterly winds, crews will begin construction of a dozer guard to prevent the spread of fire to values at risk in areas currently west and north of the fire.

    Danger trees continue to pose safety hazards for fire personnel working near Pine Lake Road. The addition of a dozer will assist current danger tree assessment and tree felling efforts.

    All values at risk remain intact.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no danger to the public. Fire personnel will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    NOTE: Smoky conditions along the highway are creating extremely poor visibility. Motorists are urged to drive with caution, obey signage and reduce speed when required. Watch for bison.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work to remove hazards for crews to work safely and respond to fire in the area.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious some to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 24, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    Warm and dry weather resulted in increased fire behaviour throughout Wood Buffalo National Park yesterday. Current fire danger is extreme.

    There are 124 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 439,929 hectares have burned.

    New confirmed fire (Fire 26)

    Fire 26 is located approximately 13 kilometres south/south-west of Peace Point and was last measured at 0.46 hectares. Fire 26 was detected during a smoke patrol during the morning of July 22 and was immediately actioned. Thanks to the quick and effective work of fire personnel, the fire is classified as extinguished.

    Weather

    Active fire behaviour and visible smoke are anticipated today. A daytime high of 28 degrees Celsius is forecasted with relative humidity of 25 percent. Winds will be light in a south/south-easterly flow, with a slight chance of thunder showers.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Thick smoke resulted poor visibility and limited opportunities for fire personnel to work in the area yesterday. Weather permitting, crews and helicopters with buckets will continue to action a hotspot north of the guard. Extinguishment efforts within 30 feet of the control line to limit the further spread of fire continues. Heavy equipment, two helicopters and three crews will be working in the area today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    Yesterday’s hot, dry weather resulted in active fire behaviour along Pine Lake Road. Fire crews and a bucket ship spent the day working in this area. Today’s arrival of an additional crew of danger tree assessors and danger tree fellers will help tackle the considerable task of reducing the risk for crews working along Pine Lake Road.

    Progress continues toward achieving extinguishment within 100 feet of the guard at Kettle Point.

    Values at risk remain intact.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Yesterday, fire personnel installed a camera to observe fire behaviour as well as to monitor smoke conditions along the highway.

    Fire 23 is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no danger to the public.

    Drive with caution. Smoke may be visible from the highway.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious some to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 23, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    Warm and dry weather resulted in increased fire behaviour throughout Wood Buffalo National Park yesterday. Current fire danger is extreme.

    There are 114 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 367,979 hectares have burned.

    New confirmed fire (Fire 26)

    A new fire was confirmed approximately 13 kilometres west/south-west of Peace Point mid-yesterday morning. Two fire crews and a bucketing ship initiated immediate suppression. The fire is classified as being held and is approximately .04 hectares. There is no risk to the public at this time. Crews will continue suppression today.

    Weather

    Active fire behaviour and visible smoke are anticipated in the coming days due to a warming and drying trend, Today’s high is 28 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 27 percent. Winds will come from east 5km/h gusting to 15km/h with a slight chance of thunder showers.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Fire personnel and helicopters with buckets will continue to action a hotspot north of the guard. Extinguishment efforts within 30 feet of the control line to limit the further spread of fire continues. Heavy equipment, two helicopters and three crews will be working in the area today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    Fire personnel are getting closer to achieving extinguishment within 100 feet of the guard at Kettle Point. Work to achieve extinguishment within 100 feet of the Pine Lake Road is a slow and steady endeavour as danger tree assessments and felling are required to ensure the safety of crews for future work in the area. Trees can pose significant hazards to crews without proper assessment.

    Values at risk remain intact.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    During a recognisance flight, crews moted active fire behaviour in the south-east corner of the fire. The fire is currently hung-up in an old burn area with some wet features nearby. This fire is approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and currently poses no danger to the public.

    Drive with caution. Smoke may be visible from the highway.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires. Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Air quality:

    Wildfire smoke can be harmful, even at low concentrations. Take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke. Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms. Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk. Real-time air quality mapping is available at map.purpleair.com.

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 22, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 107 personnel and 5 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 367,979 hectares have burned.

    Weather

    The forecast is for warm, mostly dry conditions with a slight chance of thunder showers in the coming days. Today’s high is 28 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 27 percent. Winds will come from east/north-east 5km/h gusting to 20km/h.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Results from recent infrared scanning showed no hotspots on the southern perimeter of the fire. However, several hotspots were located north of the established cat guard. Fire personnel will continue extinguishment within 30 feet of the control line to limit the further spread of fire. Heavy equipment, two helicopters and three crews will be working in the area today.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    Westerly winds resulted in an increase in fire behaviour, particularly in the east and north-eastern area of the complex.

    Crews continued to focus their efforts on Pine Lake Road and Kettle Point working towards extinguishment within 100 feet of the guard over the next week.

    Fire personnel are closely and carefully undertaking danger tree assessments and felling along Pine Lake Road to ensure the safety for future work in the area. Trees can pose significant hazards to crews without proper assessment.

    Values at risk remain intact.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire has displayed some growth and is approximately 10 kilometres from Highway 5. Crews will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway. Drive with care.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires. Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 20, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    Yesterday’s weather resulted in smoky conditions which limited opportunities for aerial ignition and patrols.

    There are 111 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 367,979 hectares have burned.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday crews completed the dozer guard in the excursion area. Crews and helicopters with buckets will continue to action a hotspot north of the guard. In addition, a thermal scanning drone will be used along the west end the complex. Thermal imaging is a useful tool that help detect hotspots before fire occurs.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    Minimal fire growth was reported on the north-west side yesterday, while the eastern side showed more heat and smoke. Work continues along Kettle Point to clean up unburned fuel. Suppression along Pine Lake Road will continue along the strategic fire break.

    Values at risk remain intact, with fire personnel continuing to maintain structural protection equipment at Pine Lake.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is 12 kilometres from Highway 5 and is currently situated in a previously burned area. Crews will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway. Drive with care.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires. Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    Today comes with a risk of isolated thundershowers, with a high of 27 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 40 percent. Winds will be calm from the south-west 5km/h gusting to 10km/h.

    Please note that there are additional fires in the area, including MWF-043 Fire, that are contributing to smoke and ash in the Fort Smith area.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 19, 2023 @ 1300 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    A new Incident Commander and additional Incident Management team members arrived yesterday.

    Cooler weather and increased humidity resulted in reduced fire behaviour yesterday.

    There are 116 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 367,979 hectares have burned.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Crews continued to make steady progress on the dozer guard within 5 feet of the blackline. We anticipate the guard around the excursion area will be complete tomorrow. Fire personnel continue to monitor protect values at risk in the area and check for hotspots.

    Today, two crews, two helicopters, two dozers and other heavy equipment working on the fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    While smoky conditions prevented helicopters from flying until mid-afternoon, hand ignition work on unburned fuel between the ignition line and the road is ongoing. Suppression along Pine Lake Road will continue along with strategic fire break, with focus on the north end to clean up unburned fuels and address hotspots.

    Values at risk remain intact, with fire personnel continuing to maintain structural protection equipment at Pine Lake.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is 12 kilometres from Highway 5 and is currently situated in a previously burned area. Crews will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway. Drive with care.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    An unstable system is forecast with potential for isolated thundershowers for the next three days. Today’s high is 26 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 40 percent and a chance of 1-2 millimetres of rain. Winds are forecasted to come from the south 5 km/h gusting to 15km/h. Please note that there are additional fires in the area, including MWF-043 Fire, that are contributing to smoke and ash in the Fort Smith area.

    Air quality:

    Wildfire smoke can be harmful, even at low concentrations. Take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke. Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms. Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk. Real-time air quality mapping is available at map.purpleair.com

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 18, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 87 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 367,979 hectares have burned.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday fire crews continued containment efforts in the excursion area, we anticipate the dozer guard around the excursion will be complete in the next couple days. Crews conducted hand ignition to tie the fire directly into the dozer line. Today, three crews, two helicopters, two dozers and other heavy equipment working on the fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 conjoined and 17)

    The most significant fire spread occurred in the north-west portion of fire through and old burn. Fire personnel will assess this area and look for opportunities to draw the fire into natural features to limit northerly growth towards Highway 5. Despite active fire behaviour yesterday on the east flank, the fire had minimal spread north.

    The fire is approximately 20 km from Highway 5

    Values at risk remain intact, with fire personnel continuing to maintain structural protection equipment at Pine Lake.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is 12 kilometres from Highway 5 and is currently situated in a previously burned area. Crews will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway. Drive with care.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    An unstable system is forecast with potential for isolated thundershowers for the next three days. Today’s high is 26 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 38 percent. Winds are forecasted to come from the south km/h gusting to 15km/h. Please note that there are additional fires in the area, including MWF-043 Fire, that are contributing to smoke and ash in the Fort Smith area.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – July 17, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 86 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    To date, a total of 301,117 hectares have burned.

    Yesterday’s strong south-east winds resulted in significant growth on most of the fires in the complex.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday fire crews tied into the guard with a hoselay and heavy equipment began moving to the area. Crews maintained structural equipment currently in place and will implement other structural protection on values at risk as required.

    Today, efforts will be focussed on fire containment, with three crews, two helicopters, two dozers and other heavy equipment working on the fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7, 15, 17)

    There was significant growth on the fire yesterday, particularly on the east and west flanks. This resulted in fires 2/7 and 15 merging. Fire crews will assess these flanks and look for opportunities to draw the fire into natural features to limit northerly growth.

    The outstanding portion of ignition on the west side of Pine Lake Road was completed. In the coming days, additional hand-ignition will be required to clean up remaining fuel adjacent to the road.

    Values at risk remain intact, with fire personnel continuing to maintain structural protection equipment at Pine Lake.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    An aerial assessment of the fire occurred yesterday. There was no significant growth towards Highway 5 and or infrastructure yesterday.

    Growth continues primarily to the north and is approximately 12-15 kilometres from Highway 5. A more precise location will be determined at another time when conditions are less smoky. The fire is currently situated in a previously burned area. Crews will continue to assess and monitor the fire for opportunities to limit the fire’s spread south toward the highway.

    Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway. Drive with care.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx and https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    The warming and drying trend will continue in the coming days. Today’s high is 27 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 27 percent. Winds are forecasted to come from the south-east 15km/h gusting to 30km/h. Please note that there are additional fires in the area, including MWF-043 Fire, that are contributing to smoke and ash in the Fort Smith area.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Learn more about wildfires by taking proper precautions. Visit: https://www.getprepared.gc.ca/cnt/hzd/wldfrs-en.aspx.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 16 at 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 93 personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.
    To date, a total of 301,117 hectares have burned.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Smoky conditions delayed crews from getting on the fire however they were able to start on suppression actions yesterday. GNWT tankers also assisted with retardant drops on adjacent coniferous stands to limit further growth potential to the south and west. Today, five crews, three helicopters and heavy equipment will work to contain the excursion area to limit the fire’s spread to the west.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7, 15, 17)

    On Friday, favourable winds assisted ignition efforts to draw the fire closer to Pine Lake Road, with the goal of reducing the potential for the fire to cross the road. Fire personnel will use hand-ignition to clean-up unburned fuel between the ignition line and the road. In addition, crews will continue to complete additional ignition as opportunities arise. All values at risk in the area remain intact.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    There was no significant growth towards Highway 5 and associated infrastructure yesterday. Fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire for control action to protect critical infrastructure. Motorists are asked to drive with care. Be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.
    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.
    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.
    Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    Other fires burning in nearby jurisdictions may affect air quality. For information on fires in Alberta visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx. Information on fires in the Northwest Territories is available at https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    Today’s high is 27 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 28% percent. Winds will be warmer, dryer and come from the south-east 10km/h gusting to 25 km/h. A continued drying trend and climbing temperatures are expected in the coming days.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Current smoke forecasts
    Canada’s Wildfire Smoke Prediction System (FireWork)
    Environment Canada Air Quality Health Index

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 15 at 10 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 106 fire personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Under strong, gusty winds overnight on July 13th, the Davidson fire grew and breached a 35-hectare area of the western dozer guard. Fire personnel immediately actioned the excursion. Today 4 crews and a medium helicopter will work to contain the excursion area to limit the fire’s spread to the west.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. We appreciate your patience as crews continue to work on facility protection and respond to fire in the area.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires. Visit Wood Buffalo National Park’s Important Bulletin page for up-to-date information.

    For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7, 15, 17)

    Information officers received several calls yesterday regarding concerns the fire crossed Pine Lake Road. Fire personnel have confirmed the fire has not crossed the road nor impacted any structures. It is important to note that satellite monitoring is useful for tracking and monitoring fires but cannot solely be relied on to provide accurate pictures of fires on the landscape. Satellite monitoring detects heat signatures and not necessarily fires. Our fire specialists use the information from satellite monitoring to find new starts and hot spots but conduct smoke patrols, fly-overs and ground assessments as necessary to confirm satellite hits. Currently, satellite monitoring is showing hot spots and perimeter growth within Wood Buffalo National Park that fire personnel have confirmed as inaccurate.

    Favourable winds assisted ignition efforts to draw the fire closer to Pine Lake Road, with the goal of reducing the potential for the fire to cross the road. Crews also used direct suppression along containment lines near the north end of Pine Lake and in the Kettle Point area. Fire personnel will continue to investigate opportunities to complete additional ignition to tie the fire into Pine Lake Road.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23):

    Fire 23 is approximately 5,000 hectares and 12km north of Highway 5.

    There was no significant growth towards Highway 5 and associated infrastructure yesterday. Fire personnel will continue to monitor the fire for control action to protect critical infrastructure.

    Residents and motorists are asked to drive with care and to be prepared for road closures or delays. Smoke may be visible from the highway.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities. These fires are monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    Other fires burning in nearby jurisdictions may affect air quality. For information on fires in Alberta visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx. Information on fires in the Northwest Territories is available at https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Weather

    Today’s forecast is a high of 24 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 35 percent. Winds will flow from the east 5km/h-10kn/h gusting to 15. Moderate fire growth is expected today.

    Environment and Climate Change Canada weather forecasts can be found here:
    Fort Chipewyan
    Fort Smith

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 14 at 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 101 fire personnel and 7 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Closures & Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road remain closed until further notice. While we understand the inconvenience the prolonged closure poses, it is crucial to ensure the safety of residents, visitors and fire personnel during this unprecedented fire season.

    The closure area includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently prohibited in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23):

    Fire 23 is approximately 5,000 hectares and 12km north of Highway 5.

    Yesterday, fire management specialists assessed fire 23 to determine whether ignition operations were required to protect Highway 5 and associated critical infrastructure. While the fire did grow, it has not reached established triggers to initiate this action. In the coming days, if ignition is required, this operation will involve burning vegetation (grass, logs, adjacent trees). The goal of this tactic is to consume fuels between its current location and the highway to avoid intense fire impacting the highway and damaging critical infrastructure.

    Smoke may be visible from the highway. Residents and motorists are asked to drive with caution and should be prepared for delays or sudden road closures.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fire 2/7)

    Extremely windy and dry conditions led to extreme fire behaviour yesterday, resulting in the fires breaching existing guards in several areas around Pine Lake. Strong north winds, cross-over conditions and extreme poor visibility resulted in fire personnel being moved off the fire line. Ignition operations to limit fire spread towards values was conducted later in the day. Fire personnel will assess yesterday’s ignition efforts and the potential need for additional ignition. Heavy equipment will also be used to construct additional guards to prevent further fire spread towards facilities. Structure protection systems already in place will continue to be maintained.

    Fire 2/7 is an estimated 105,966 hectares. The fire is 32 km south Fort Smith and 22 km north of Peace Point. This fire continues to be active in the southern areas burning along Pine Lake Road.

    Smoky conditions are making it difficult to provide updated fire sizes at this time.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Fire personnel continue to monitor the Davidson complex and the need for additional suppression efforts. Crews maintained structure protection equipment and sprinklers at known values at risk yesterday. Additional values at risk will be assessed today to determine the need for further structure protection equipment.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities. These fires are monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Weather

    Today’s forecast is a high of 23 Celsius with relative humidity of 35 percent. Sustained winds will come from a northernly direction, 5-15km/h gusting to 30. Moderate fire growth is expected today.

    Air quality:

    Wildfire smoke can be harmful, even at low concentrations. Take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke. Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms. Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk. Real-time air quality mapping is available at map.purpleair.com

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 13 at 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes.

    There are 85 fire personnel and 5 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Fire is actively burning on both sides of Pine Lake Road. Fire crews were unable to conduct a full patrol of Fire 2 due to extremely poor visibility. It is imperative that members of the public do not travel in this area. Area Closures are in place for your safety and the safety of fire personnel working on wildfires. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public when safe to do so.

    A new Incident Management Team assumed command of the Wood Buffalo fires today. Additional fire crews arrived yesterday.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 24 was last mapped at 8 hectares and was discovered on a smoke flight earlier this week. It is located on the western side of the park near the Alberta border south of Buffalo Lake and currently poses no risk to any communities or infrastructure.

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 1,678 hectares and is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is currently no risk to any communities from this fire

    Fire crews are continuing aerial patrols. Currently, the fire is surrounded by historic burn areas with poor fuel.

    Smoke may be visible from the highway. Travellers are asked to drive with caution. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities. These fires are monitored by fire personnel. Structural protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National can be found here: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (2 and 7)

    Ignition that was conducted throughout the past week in the Pine Lake area was successful. Crews are working along dozer guards to extinguish hotspots with the goal of limiting the spread of fires 2 and 7. Work in this area will continue today.

    Another hotspot was detected on the north-eastern edge of Fire 7 yesterday afternoon. Crews supported by helicopter bucketing took immediate steps to suppress the fire in this area. Fire personnel also actioned a four-hectare hotspot on the north-eastern and were successful at containing its spread. Crews will return today to patrol and action as necessary. Preventing the spread of Fire 7 towards the community of Fort Smith remains Parks Canada’s top priority.

    Fire crew members will continue to maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure in the area.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 72, 787 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 33,116 hectares and is 3.5 km from Pine Lake and 56 km from Fort Smith. Fire 2 continues to be active on the southern perimeter burning along the Pine Lake Road. The fire is now 22km from Peace Point.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Work on the southwest flank of the Davidson Lake Fires is complete and the response has now shifted into active monitoring. Earlier this week, a fire crew travelled to the Davidson fire to maintain the structure protection and to observe activity on the fire.

    Fire management personnel will again return to the area today observe the fire behaviour and maintain the structure protection on cabins in the area.

    An Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing several fires in Wood Buffalo National Park, including the Davidson Lake Fires. The protection of Garden River remains a key priority for Parks Canada and, should conditions on the fire change, resources will be mobilized to respond.

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed.. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today the forecast high is 26 Celsius with a relative humidity of 16 percent, which may create favourable conditions for active fire behaviour. Winds will be from the north 20 km/h gusting to 40 km/h.

    Given prevailing northern winds, Fort Smith residents my experience poor air quality, including heavy smoke and potentially falling ash from fires north of town and outside of Wood Buffalo National Park.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Alyssa Etsell
    Liaison Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 12 at11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    Fire Information Update – July 12, 2023 @ 1200 hrs

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released every day by 1:00 p.m. MT, unless the situation changes. There are 75 fire personnel and seven helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Area Closures are in place for your safety and the safety of fire personnel working on wildfires. The fire is actively burning on both sides of Pine Lake Road and it is imperative that members of the public do not travel in this area.

    We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public as soon as we can.

    Today, a new Incident Management Team will transition with the current team managing the fires in Wood Buffalo. Additional fire crews are also arriving today.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 24 was discovered on a smoke flight yesterday. It is located on the western side of the park near the Park border with Alberta south of Buffalo Lake. It was last mapped at 8 hectares and is being observed. It currently poses no risk to any communities or infrastructure.

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 1678 hectares. It is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5. This fire had moderate intensity and growth yesterday, minimally toward Highway 5.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is no risk to any communities from this fire at this time.

    Fire specialists continue to fly the area. Currently, the fire is surrounded by historic burn areas with poor fuel. It is anticipated these previous burns will limit the fire’s growth.

    Smoke may be visible from the highway, so travellers are asked to drive with caution in the area. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Fire 17 is approximately 13 hectares in size and is classified as Under Control. It was detected and actioned immediately. This fire is 30 km from Fort Smith and poses no current risk to any communities.

    Other active fires in Wood Buffalo National Park not listed in these updates pose no current risk to any communities and are burning in remote areas of the park. They are being monitored by fire personnel and structure protection will be put on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed. You can find information about them in past updates by checking out our Fire Information webpage at: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    Yesterday, crews completed the final ignition work required for the Pine Lake fireguard. Today crews will be patrolling along control lines to extinguish hotspots and make the line along the guard cold between 15 and 50 feet in from the perimeter of the burned area. In addition to helping prevent the spread of Fire 2 and Fire 7 toward the values in this area, the ignition work that was completed will help provide a longer-term strategic fire break for the Pine Lake area for future years.

    On the northeast end of Pine Lake the fire was able to cross a small section of fireguard near a corner where two control lines met. Yesterday, crews and heavy equipment finished creating a new control line to secure this area of the fire. Crews will be patrolling the area to monitor for hotspots.

    A four-hectare area of active fire perimeter was discovered on the north end of Fire 7 in an area that had been inactive for more than a week. Crews supported by helicopter bucketing took immediate steps to suppress the fire in this area. Today, crews and helicopters will return to the area with the goal of full extinguishment of this section of the line. Preventing the spread of Fire 7 towards the community of Fort Smith remains Parks Canada’s top priority.

    Fire 2 was active on the southern perimeter burning along the Pine Lake Road. The fire is now 22km from Peace Point.

    Fire crew members will continue to maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure in the area.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 72, 787 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 33,116 hectares and is 3.5 km from Pine Lake and 56 km from Fort Smith.

    Davidson Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Work on the southwest flank of the Davidson Lake Fires is complete and the response has now shifted into active monitoring. Yesterday, a fire crew travelled to the Davidson fire to maintain the structure protection and to observe activity on the fire.

    Fire management personnel will again return to the area today observe the fire behaviour and maintain the structure protection on cabins in the area.

    An Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing several fires in Wood Buffalo National Park, including the Davidson Lake Fires. The protection of Garden River remains a key priority for Parks Canada and, should conditions on the fire change, resources will be mobilized to respond.

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires. All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today the forecast high is 29 Celsius with a relative humidity of 20 percent, which may create favourable conditions for active fire behaviour. Winds will be from the North between 10 and 20 km/h and strengthening through the day. By evening and overnight winds will be 20 gusting to 30 km/h. Smoke may persist over the fire this morning and is forecast to clear by the afternoon.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 10th 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    There are 70 fire personnel and seven helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Area Closures are in place for your safety and the safety of fire personnel working on wildfires. The fire is actively burning on both sides of Pine Lake Road and it is imperative that members of the public do not travel in this area.

    We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public as soon as we can.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 1500 hectares. It is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5, 3.2 km south of the park’s boundary line and approximately 43 km southeast of Sandy Lake.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is no risk to any communities from this fire at this time.

    Fire specialists continue to fly the area daily and are using the information acquired to develop a fire analysis, which looks at management options and highlights the resources required for each option. Currently, the fire is surrounded by historic burn areas with poor fuel. It is anticipated these previous burns will limit the fire’s growth

    Smoke may be visible from the highway, so travellers are asked to drive with caution in the area. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Fire 22 was located during a smoke patrol and immediately actioned. The crew was successful at containing it at 0.2 hectares and the fire is now classified as Extinguished.

    Fire 17 is approximately 13 hectares in size and located 1.9 km north of Fire 7’s northern edge. This fire, which was detected and actioned immediately, is now classified as Under Control. This fire is 30 km from Fort Smith and poses no current risk to any communities.

    Other active fires in Wood Buffalo National Park not listed in these updates pose no current risk to any communities and are burning in remote areas of the park. They are being monitored by fire personnel and structure protection will be put on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed. You can find information about them in past updates by checking out our Fire Information webpage at: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    Today, crews are working along control lines in the Pine Lake area to extinguish hotspots from the weekend’s ignition operations. Their goal is to make the line along the dozer guards cold between 15 and 50 feet in from the perimeter of the burned area. In addition to helping prevent the spread of Fire 2 and Fire 7 toward the values in this area, the ignition work that was completed will help provide a longer-term strategic fire break for the Pine Lake area for future years.

    On the northeast end of Pine Lake the fire was able to cross a small section of fireguard near a corner where two control lines met. Today, crews and heavy equipment will take advantage of favourable conditions to create a new control line and contain this section of the fire.

    Fire crew members will continue to maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure in the area.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 48,292 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas – the northern perimeter was worked in 100 feet, extensively patrolled and has not seen any hot spots or growth in a week.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 25,895 hectares is 56 km from Fort Smith.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Work on the southwest flank of the Davidson Lake Fires is complete and the response has now shifted into active monitoring. Yesterday, a fire crew travelled to the Davidson fire to maintain the structure protection and worked to extinguish a remaining area of heat on the west perimeter of the fire.

    Yesterday the fire complex experienced some growth on the West-Northwest flank. Today fire management personnel will return to the area to observe the fire behaviour and maintain the structure protection on cabins in the area.

    An Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing several fires in Wood Buffalo National Park, including the Davidson Lake Fires. The protection of Garden River remains a key priority for Parks Canada and, should conditions on the fire change, resources will be mobilized to respond.

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today is expected to be remain dry with a forecast high of 22 degrees and relative humidity of 23 percent. Winds in the morning will be moderate at 15 km/h gusting to 30 km/h. These winds should subside in the afternoon. The wind, combined with poor venting conditions over the fire area will lead to smoke persisting over the fire area for much of the day.

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 9th 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    There are 70 fire personnel and seven helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Area Closures are in place for your safety and the safety of fire personnel working on wildfires. The fire is actively burning on both sides of Pine Lake Road and it is imperative that members of the public do not travel in this area.

    We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public as soon as we can.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 788 hectares. It is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5, 3.2 km south of the park’s boundary line and approximately 43 km southeast of Sandy Lake.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is no risk to any communities from this fire at this time.

    Fire specialists continue to fly the area daily and are using the information acquired to develop a fire analysis, which looks at management options and highlights the resources required for each option. Currently, the fire is surrounded by historic burn areas with poor fuel. It is anticipated these previous burns will limit the fire’s growth

    Smoke may be visible from the highway, so travellers are asked to drive with caution in the area. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Fire 22 was located during a smoke patrol and immediately actioned. The crew was successful at containing it at 0.2 hectares and the fire is now classified as Extinguished.

    Fire 17 is approximately 13 hectares in size and located 1.9 km north of Fire 7’s northern edge. This fire, which was detected and actioned immediately, is now classified as Under Control. This fire is 30 km from Fort Smith and poses no current risk to any communities.

    Other active fires in Wood Buffalo National Park not listed in these updates pose no current risk to any communities and are burning in remote areas of the park. They are being monitored by fire personnel and structure protection will be put on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed. You can find information about them in past updates by checking out our Fire Information webpage at: parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    Yesterday’s ignition operation was successful and helped reinforce guards in the area by burning off forest fuels east of Pine Lake Road along the south side of Kettle Point Road. In addition to helping prevent the spread of Fire 2 and Fire 7 toward the values in this area, this ignition work will help provide a longer-term strategic fire break for the Pine Lake area for future years.

    Today, fire crews and heavy equipment, assisted by helicopter bucketing, will work along the dozer guards in the ignition area to action hot spots and will continue working on the ground to make the lines cold at least 50 feet in.

    Fire crew members will continue to maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure in the area.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 48,292 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas – the northern perimeter was worked in 100 feet, extensively patrolled and has not seen any hot spots or growth in a week.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 25,895 hectares is 56 km from Fort Smith.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Work on the southwest flank of the Davidson Lake Fires is complete and the response has now shifted into active monitoring. Today, a fire crew that has been working on the Davidson Lake Fires for the past several days will travel from Fort Smith to maintain the structure protection in place on cabins and other values in the area, as well as continue monitoring the overall fire behaviour and growth.

    An Incident Management Team (IMT) is managing several fires in Wood Buffalo National Park, including the Davidson Lake Fires. The protection of Garden River remains a key priority for Parks Canada and, should conditions on the fire change, resources will be mobilized to respond.

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today is expected to be hot, and dry with a forecast high of 31 Celsius and a relative humidity of 25 percent. Winds will be light and from the north. Tomorrow should bring similar weather with a forecast high of 24 Celsius and a relative humidity of 20 percent.

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 8th 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    There are 75 fire personnel and seven helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Area Closures are in place for your safety and the safety of fire personnel working on wildfires. We are working diligently to contain unsecured areas of Fire 7 and Fire 2 in order to re-open the parts of Pine Lake Road currently under closure as soon as we possibly can.

    Safety is our number one priority in fire management operations. Fires experience many stages of behaviour throughout any given day or week depending on temperatures, humidity levels, Forest vegetation types, wind speed and direction, and other factors. On a cooler day, after some precipitation, fires may appear calm and appear to be “out.” This is usually not the case – fire burns on the surface and into soil layers, preheating the vegetation around it, awaiting a period of hot, dry weather to pop up again. Because of this, and due to active firefighting and aircraft operations including aerial ignition occurring throughout the fire area, the current closures in the Pine Lake area will remain.

    We appreciate your patience as we continue to work to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public as soon as we can. We hope to provide details in the coming days on staged access to Pine Lake, beginning with timed, supervised entry.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 550 hectares. It is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5, 3.2 km south of the park’s boundary line and approximately 43 km southeast of Sandy Lake.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is no risk to any communities from this fire at this time.

    Today, Incident Management Team members will be assessing the fire to develop a fire analysis, which includes strategies and tactics for containment. Smoke may be visible from the highway, so travellers are asked to drive with caution in the area. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Fire 22 was located during a smoke patrol two days ago and immediately actioned. The crew was successful at containing it at 0.2 hectares and the fire is now classified as Extinguished.

    Fire 17 is approximately 13 hectares in size and located 1.9 km north of Fire 7’s northern edge. This fire, which was detected and actioned immediately, is now classified as Under Control. This fire is 30 km from Fort Smith and poses no current risk to any communities.

    Fire 16 is located approximately 33 km north of Highway 5 and was last measured at five hectares. Two crews with helicopters were dispatched as soon as it was detected. Their quick and effective work led to this fire now being classified as Under Control.

    Fire 18, Fire 19, Fire 20 and Fire 21 currently pose no risk to any communities and are burning in remote areas of the park. They are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and structure protection will be put on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    Today, fire crews will continue to patrol the dozer guard along the ignition area from earlier in the week. They are monitoring for any hot spots and working to make the line cold, 100 feet in.

    The wind and weather conditions are forecasted to be ideal today to conduct further work on the ignition plan for the Pine Lake area. Parts of the planned ignition were successfully completed two days ago, and conditions are looking good to continue to reinforce the guard through burnout operations east of Pine Lake road along south side of Kettle Point road. In addition to helping prevent the spread of Fire 2 and Fire 7 toward the values in this area, this ignition work will help provide a longer-term strategic fire break for the Pine Lake area for future years.

    Fire crew members will continue to maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 41,735 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas – the northern perimeter was worked in 100 feet, extensively patrolled and has not seen any hot spots or growth in a week.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 24,152 hectares and is 3.5 km from Pine Lake and 56 km from Fort Smith.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Yesterday, the Unified Command with Alberta Wildfire that has been jointly managing the Paskwa-Davidson fire complex was dissolved with WBNP now being solely responsible for Davidson Complex and Alberta being responsible for Paskwa.

    Today, the onsite Parks Canada Incident Management Team responsible for the Davidson fires will transfer command of the fire response back to Wood Buffalo National Park. Work on the southwest flank of the fire is complete and the response has now shifted into active monitoring. WBNP fire crews will continue to maintain the structure protection in place on cabins and other values at risk in the area and monitor the overall fire behaviour and growth. Where required they will take suppression action.

    The protection of Garden River remains a key priority for Parks Canada and, should conditions on the fire change, resources will be mobilized to respond..

    For updates on the Paskwa fire (HFW-030) and fire HFW-075, please visit the Alberta Wildfire website: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    Today is expected to be hot, and dry with a forecast high of 31 Celsius and a relative humidity of 25 percent. Winds will be light and from the north. Tomorrow should bring similar weather with a forecast high of 24 Celsius and a relative humidity of 20 percent.

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wood Buffalo National Park Wildfire Update - July 7th 11 a.m. MT

    Updates on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park will be released by 1:00 p.m. MT daily, unless the situation changes.

    There are 87 fire personnel and seven helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Yesterday, Parks Canada’s Incident Commander and other fire management staff met with members of the community in Fort Smith to discuss the current fire situation within Wood Buffalo National Park and answer questions about both Parks Canada’s current response to fires in WBNP as well as the agency’s overall firefighting strategies and tactics. Thank you to everyone who attended the session.

    Recently confirmed fires:

    Fire 23 was last mapped at approximately 358 hectares. It is located approximately 22 km north of Highway 5, 3.2 km south of the park’s boundary line and approximately 43 km southeast of Sandy Lake.

    Highway 5 remains open, and there is no risk to any communities from this fire at this time.

    Today, Incident Management Team members will be assessing the fire to develop a fire analysis, which includes strategies and tactics for containment. Smoke may be visible from the highway, so travellers are asked to drive with caution in the area. Safety of people, communities and infrastructure is the top priority for Parks Canada in fire management operations.

    Fire 22 was located during a smoke patrol two days ago and immediately actioned. The crew was successful at containing it at 0.2 hectares and the fire is now classified as Extinguished.

    Fire 17 is approximately 13 hectares in size and located 1.9 km north of Fire 7’s northern edge. This fire, which was detected and actioned immediately, is now classified as Under Control. This fire is 30 km from Fort Smith and poses no current risk to any communities.

    Fire 16 is located approximately 33 km north of Highway 5 and was last measured at five hectares. Two crews with helicopters were dispatched as soon as it was detected. Their quick and effective work led to this fire now being classified as Under Control.

    Fire 18, Fire 19, Fire 20 and Fire 21 currently pose no risk to any communities and are burning in remote areas of the park. They are being monitored by Wood Buffalo National Park fire personnel and structure protection will be put on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in the area as needed.

    Pine Lake Complex (2, 7, and 15)

    Yesterday, fire management personnel made significant progress on the planned ignition along one of the existing dozer guards in the Pine Lake area. Ignition work will continue tomorrow as conditions permit. In addition to helping prevent the spread of Fire 2 and Fire 7 toward the values in this area, this ignition work will help provide a strategic fire break for the Pine Lake area for future years.

    In the morning, fire crew members will patrol the dozer guard along yesterday’s ignition area to monitor for any hot spots and will maintain the structure protection systems in place at cabins and other infrastructure.

    Fire 7 was last estimated at 41,735 hectares and is still approximately 32 km from Fort Smith. Growth on this fire is in the southern areas – the northern perimeter was worked in 100 feet, extensively patrolled and has not seen any hot spots or growth in a week.

    Fire 2 was last mapped at 24,152 hectares and is 3.5 km from Pine Lake and 56 km from Fort Smith.

    Davidson-Paskwa Complex (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13 and 14)

    Fire 11 and 14 continue to be active along their northern perimeters. Fire behaviour remains concentrated in this area and poses no risk to the community of Garden River.

    The Alberta and Parks Canada Unified Command of the Paskwa-Davidson complex will end this evening when the current Alberta Incident Management Team leaves. Parks Canada will continue to manage the fire until work on the southern perimeter is complete. This is anticipated to take until July 9th.

    For updates on the Paskwa fire (HFW-030) and fire HFW-075, please visit the Alberta Wildfire website: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/high-level-area-update

    Closures   Warnings

    Pine Lake, Pine Lake Road and Parsons Lake Road are closed. This closure includes Parsons Lake Road from the Salt Plains Access Road junction to Pine Lake Road, and Pine Lake Road from the Grosbeak Lake trailhead to Peace Point. This includes Pine Lake Day Use Area, private cabins, Pine Lake Campground and Pine Lake rental cabins.

    Backcountry camping is currently a prohibited activity in the park to ensure public safety while Parks Canada manages several active wildfires.

    All area closures are in place until further notice. For up-to-date closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    Weather

    The high today is forecast to be 27 degrees. Relative humidity will reach a low of 30 percent. Winds will begin as light from the west-northwest and will switch to northeast around mid-day due to a passing instability. Gusts will reach 50-60km/h. Today there is a potential for 0.5-1mm of precipitation and the possibility of lightning.

    James Eastham
    Fire Information Officer
    james.eastham@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4839

    Victoria Ostendorf
    Wildfire Information Officer, High Level Forest Area
    wf.hwf0302023-iof.i@gov.ab.ca
    780-841-9387

    August 2023
    Wildfire Information Update – August 31, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex remains at an estimated 472,205* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow in size. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 389 personnel which include 66 pieces of heavy equipment, 23 helicopters and 157 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas, are for first responders.

    Today, temperatures are expected to reach 24C and with relative humidity of 45 percent with winds from the northwest 10 km/h, gusting up to 20 km/h. Tomorrow (Friday), the forecasted high is 26C and a relative humidity of 25-30 percent with winds from the west-southwest 20 km/h, gusting up to 50 km/h. These weather conditions could allow for extreme fire behaviour, especially if smoke isn’t present over the wildfire.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    The smoke was heavy yesterday, and coupled with lower wind speeds, firefighters observed less active fire behaviour. Heavier smoke creates a shield or dome, which keeps temperatures lower and the relative humidity higher. Forecasts show today will also be quite smoky, but the conditions are likely to lift on Friday and be accompanied by strong, gusty winds and warm temperatures. If the day is how the forecasts suggests, fire specialists are expecting to see extreme fire behaviour.

    On the line, crews spent the day yesterday extinguishing hot spots and continuing the tough work required to secure the nearly 250 km northernmost perimeter line. Crews kept working around the eastern finger below Fort Fitzgerald and along Hay Camp Road to extinguish hot spots. A containment line was pushed in by dozers on the east side of Hay Camp Road, to tie into the river.

    Crews that have been working along a containment line created by dozers west off Pine Lake Road are close to their goal of reaching an active area of the fire, in the middle of the flank closest to Fort Smith. While they were working to extinguish hotspots, firefighters on the other side of the same perimeter line closest to Highway 5 worked east with the same goal.

    Thick layers of smoke rolled into the more western areas of the fire mid-afternoon and grounded most aerial operations, but helicopters bucketing on the eastern side of the fire were less impacted and able to continue until later in the afternoon.

    Extinguishment of spot fires found on the other side of containment lines at Foxholes Road and Connie’s Road are nearing completion. Some new spots were found around Foxholes and on the opposite side of a new containment line being built by dozers north off the road, along the northeastern edge of the fire. Night operations continued last night, with heavy equipment pushing further along this new containment line. Crews working overnight followed behind to lay hose, which will help with direct on-the-ground extinguishment work after the line is complete. Around 11:00 p.m., intense fog rolled into the Fort Smith area. Crews and heavy equipment stopped night operations earlier than usual around 3 a.m., when visibility greatly deteriorated and created unsafe work conditions. The fog remains this morning and will continue to affect our ability to safely work, creating very poor visibility and impacting operations.

    Structure protection groups kept up FireSmart work around the communities yesterday, ran sprinkler systems on values in the Foxholes/Thebacha area and ran scenarios together with the Town of Fort Smith to be ready and prepare for forecasted weather on Friday.

    There was no change in fire distance to any of the communities.

    FAQ:

    When can I return home?

    The situation for Fort Smith and surrounding areas remains urgent. It is not safe for people to return home. Tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday may be challenging days. The forecast predicts very windy and dry weather.

    We are preparing for potential fire growth due to anticipated strong and gusty winds. Fire personnel have spent the past two weeks creating containment lines, running high-volume sprinkler systems, equipping critical buildings with structure protection, removing trees and vegetation (fuel) between the fire’s perimeter and communities and doing FireSmart work in vital areas. The upcoming forecasted weather may challenge these measures.

    In order for fire operations to be successful, especially on challenging days, fire personnel must be focused on the main task at hand. People returning or remaining in the communities can impact fire operations and cause focus to be re-directed to rescuing or ensuring non-incident personnel remain safe.

    We understand that it is not easy to be away from home, but we thank you for taking the difficult step of leaving your homes. Being evacuated from your homes and navigating the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. Our focus continues to be on the safety of the community and first responders.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update – August 30, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is estimated to be 472,205* hectares in size and classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow in size. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 359 personnel which include 88 pieces of heavy equipment, 26 helicopters and 162 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. Firefighters continue to work in priority areas, assisted by helicopters and heavy equipment to limit spread toward communities. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas, are for first responders.

    Today we anticipate 27C and with relative humidity of 40 per cent with winds from the south 5 km/h, gusting up to 10-15 km/h. Tomorrow, the forecasted high is 26C and a relative humidity of 40 per cent with winds from the north 5-10 km/h, gusting to 15 km/h. On Friday, forecasted high is 27 with 25 percent humidity, winds from the west southwest 20 km/h gusting to 45 km/h. These weather conditions could allow for extreme fire behaviour, especially if smoke isn’t present over the wildfire.

    Firefighters observed moderate to high fire behaviour yesterday. There was some growth, but it was not significant. Fortunately, the smoke lingered again which kept the fire behaviour less active than expected. The smoke is causing a dome, keeping the temperature lower and the relative humidity higher. These smoky conditions are expected to persist for two more days, however on Friday, the smoke is expected to lift and be accompanied by strong gusty winds and warm temperatures. If these conditions develop, fire specialists expect extreme fire behaviour.

    Good progress continued again yesterday, and firefighters will keep up the hard work in several key areas today. Two crews worked past the most southerly containment line in the Fort Fitzgerald area along Hay Camp Road to extinguish hot spots. Helicopters spent time bucketing the eastern edge of the fire below Fort Fitz to cool it down.

    Firefighters continued work along a containment line created by dozers working west from Pine Lake Road – the goal here is to get to an active area toward the middle of the flank and suppress the pocket of fire. Firefighters also worked east from Highway 5 extinguishing hotspots along the same perimeter.

    Despite anticipated poor visibility in the Fort Smith area, helicopters were able to fly for most of the day yesterday and supported crews’ on-the-ground efforts with bucketing operations.

    Crews continued work to put out spot fires found off the Foxholes Road and Connie’s Road containment lines and will continue that work today as needed. Night operations continued overnight and began working in one of the most active areas of the fire, closest to Thebacha. Heavy equipment worked last night to create a new containment line, starting north off Foxholes Road and got four kilometres done overnight, tightlining to the fire’s eastern edge in that area. Tightlining is when dozers establish a containment line along the fire’s active edge. A crew started to lay hose behind the heavy equipment’s work as well and will continue that work tonight.

    Structure protection efforts continued throughout the communities again yesterday, with the sprinkler systems in the Foxholes area being run up and FireSmart activities continuing throughout the Town of Fort Smith and in some areas around Fort Fitzgerald. The structure protection specialists will be testing the large high-volume sprinkler systems around town this morning for an hour to ensure continued efficiency.

    Wildfire specialists continue to look for opportunities to conduct planned controlled burns in key areas. Controlled burns are a great tool that firefighters use to remove the available fuel, bringing the wildfire to a containment line like a dozer guard or natural break like a river or a road. This removes the likelihood of the wildfire spreading further, especially if weather conditions allow for extreme fire behaviour.

    The Fort Smith Fire Department is conducting small-scale hazard reduction burns within the community to remove dry grass and other fuels. This is a strategic use of controlled fire to reduce the chances of the wildfire spotting into the available fuel and creating a new wildfire. If conditions allow, the department will conduct more burns under the careful eye of fire specialists with additional fire suppression equipment.

    Firefighters will patrol the area and extinguish any remaining hotspots. The hazard reduction burns are carried out under the approval of the Fort Smith Fire Chief when appropriate per the Municipal Fire Protection By-law No.1024.

    FAQ:

    When can I return home?

    There are many factors that affect a wildfire and its growth, such as the wind, temperature and forest fuel moisture conditions. The days where the fire had significant growth were on days when the temperature was high, the humidity was low and there were strong, gusting winds.

    It's important to understand that this is a large wildfire with a very active perimeter. The wildfire may seem quiet right now, however it continues to smoulder and creep on the ground and at times, flares up in the trees. The conditions that could cause this wildfire to significantly increase in size are still present and possible.

    Forest fuels such as the grass, needles and branches are extremely dry. For these conditions to change, the area would require multiple days of significant rain, a return to normal seasonal temperatures and cool, humid nights. This would ensure the moisture stays in the forest fuels.

    For residents to return home, the wildfire must be both suppressed and contained. Firefighters are working as quickly as possible to contain the wildfire. These wildfires are burning very hot and deep into the soil and roots of the trees. This requires more effort to dig the hotspots out and extinguish them.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Fire Information Update – August 29, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is estimated to be 473,031 hectares in size and classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow in size. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    There are currently 368 personnel which include 64 pieces of heavy equipment, 23 helicopters and 140 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. Firefighters continue to work in priority areas, assisted by helicopters and heavy equipment to prevent the spread towards communities. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas are for first responders.

    Firefighters observed increased fire behaviour during the “peak burning period” yesterday. There was some growth, but it was not significant. Peak burning normally occurs mid to late afternoon when temperatures are hottest and relative humidity drops. Fortunately, the smoke lingered again yesterday which kept the fire behaviour less active then expected. Firefighters believe that there would have been more growth if smoke wasn’t present, which shaded the wildfire from the sun. These smoky conditions are expected to be persistent for the next few days, however Friday they expect the smoke to lift and fire behaviour may intensify.

    Today we anticipate 28C and with relative humidity of 30 per cent with winds from the east southeast 10 km/h, gusting up to 15 km/h. Tomorrow, the forecasted high is 29C and a relative humidity of 30 per cent with winds from the southeast 5 km/h, gusting to 15 km/h. These weather conditions could allow for extreme fire behaviour, especially if smoke isn’t present over the wildfire.

    Structure protection will continue to be maintained and repositioned as needed by firefighters. The structure protection, like sprinklers and water bladders, help to create a wet area to prevent the wildfire from burning near residences and other buildings. When fire activity increases near residences, crews will turn on some of the structure protection as a precautionary measure. Extensive work has also been done around Fort Smith and surrounding communities, removing vegetation following FireSmart practices. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page or visit FireSmartCanada.ca.

    Wildfire specialists continue to look for opportunities to conduct planned controlled burns in key areas. Controlled burns are a great tool that firefighters use to remove the available fuel, bringing the wildfire to a containment line like a dozer guard or natural break like a river or a road. This removes the likelihood of the wildfire spreading further, especially if weather conditions allow for extreme fire behaviour.

    The Fort Smith Fire Department conducted small scale hazard reduction burns within the community to remove dry grass and other fuels. This is a strategic use of controlled fire to reduce the chances of the wildfire spotting into the available fuel and creating a new wildfire.

    If conditions allow, the department will conduct more burns under the careful eye of fire specialists with additional fire suppression equipment.

    Firefighters will patrol the area and extinguish any remaining hotspots. The hazard reduction burns are carried out under the approval of the Fort Smith Fire Chief when appropriate per the Municipal Fire Protection by-law No. 1024.

    Yesterday, crews were able to make good progress in several key areas. Two crews worked along the most southerly containment line in the Fort Fitzgerald area, with help from helicopters bucketing, and pushed further to the west past the containment line built by dozers along the perimeter of the fire. Firefighters also worked down along Hay Camp Road, extinguishing hotspots, with support from helicopters bucketing.

    Crews continued working west, off Pine Lake Road, toward the middle of the main perimeter of the fire, closest to Fort Smith. Helicopters bucketed the active area of this fire perimeter with foam all day to cool the area down. While this was happening, other crews worked moving east on the same perimeter along the containment line off Highway 5.

    In the Foxholes/Thebacha area yesterday, crews worked directly to put out hotspots and extinguish three different spot fires located off Foxholes Road and the containment line along Connie’s road. While doing this work, crews found a few more spot fires, which will be actioned today as soon as possible.

    Heavy equipment continued to make gains on several containment areas around the fire and communities, including finishing a containment line near Halfway. They’ll start work to widen one of the lines near Fort Fitzgerald.

    The structure protection firefighters conducted FireSmart around businesses, schools and other key areas within Fort Smith as well as in Bell Rock. Sprinkler systems on values along Foxholes Road were run as precautionary measures. The structure protection systems in place around Fort Smith were tested yesterday for a few hours and specialists plan to do the same today.

    Distance Disclaimer* Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Caroline Charbonneau Wildfire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo Wildfire Complex
    Caroline.Charbonneau@gov.ab.ca
    780-740-1341

    Fire Information Update – August 28, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is estimated to be 472,656 hectares in size and classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow in size. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    There are currently 377 personnel which include 87 pieces of heavy equipment, 24 helicopters and 136 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. Firefighters continue to work in priority areas, assisted by helicopters and heavy equipment to prevent the spread towards communities. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    Firefighters observed increased fire behaviour during the “peak burning period” yesterday but no significant growth was recorded. Peak burning normally occurs mid to late afternoon when temperatures are hottest and relative humidity drops. Fortunately, the smoke lingered for most of the day which kept the fire behaviour less active then expected. Firefighters believe that there would have been more growth if smoke wasn’t present, which shaded the wildfire from the sun.

    Today we anticipate 30C and with relative humidity of 30 per cent with winds from the southeast 10 km/h, gusting up to 25 km/h. Tomorrow, the forecasted high is 30C and a relative humidity of 30 per cent with winds from the southeast 10 km/h, gusting to 15 km/h. These weather conditions could allow for extreme fire behaviour, especially if smoke isn’t present over the wildfire.

    Structure protection will continue to be maintained and repositioned as needed by firefighters. The structure protection, like sprinklers and water bladders, help to create a wet area to prevent the wildfire from burning near residences and other buildings. When fire activity increases near residences, crews will turn on some of the structure protection as a precautionary measure. Extensive work has also been done around Fort Smith and surrounding communities, removing vegetation following FireSmart practices. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page or visit FireSmartCanada.ca.

    Wildfire specialists continue to look for opportunities to conduct planned controlled burns in key areas. Controlled burns are a great tool that firefighters use to remove the available fuel, bringing the wildfire to a containment line like a dozer guard or natural break like a river or a road. This removes the likelihood of the wildfire spreading further, especially if weather conditions allow for extreme fire behaviour.

    There was no significant growth on much of the fire yesterday. More active areas continue to be in the northern area of the fire, closest to Thebacha. The distances from the fire to communities did not change yesterday except for in the Thebacha area: the fire is now 2.4 km from Thebacha.

    Today, crews will be working to extinguish some spot fires observed just off Connie’s Road and a small area off Foxholes Road. They’ll be supported as needed with helicopter bucketing if visibility permits.

    Structure protection work continues in Thebacha, Bell Rock, Fort Smith, Fort Fitzgerald and other areas, and the systems are run as needed based on active areas of the fire. Crews did FireSmarting in the Queen Elizabeth campground area yesterday and continue this work in other areas.

    While visibility permitted in the morning, helicopters bucketed active areas of the fire yesterday including an area on the fire perimeter closest to Fort Smith. Smoke created visibility challenges and grounded aircraft for most of the afternoon, but helicopters were able to fly again around 4:00 p.m.

    Yesterday, dozers finished working on a containment line using dozers east of Pine Lake Road to tie it to a water feature. Crews worked on two spot fires along the perimeter of the fire in this area as well.

    Hard work paid off yesterday as crews completed work to contain spot fires that occurred a week ago just past the most southerly containment line in the Fort Fitzgerald area. Fire personnel are planning to directly attack the east edge of the fire near Hay Camp Road, as fire activity and visibility permit.

    Nine pieces of heavy equipment completed the Fort Smith community containment line yesterday – this line is 100 metres wide and extends from Highway 5 to just south of Bordertown, along Pine Lake Road.

    There were infrared scans conducted last night. These scans provide critical information to fire personnel showing where heat and hot spots are within the fire perimeter. Knowing this information guides strategic planning and allows fire crews to zero in on specific areas.

    For distances to each community, please see attached map.

    Distance Disclaimer* Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alysaa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Caroline Charbonneau Wildfire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo Wildfire Complex
    Caroline.Charbonneau@gov.ab.ca
    780-740-1341

    Fire Information Update – August 27, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before it’s safe. The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed under Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 471,217 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL.

    The complex continued to see active fire behaviour yesterday primarily along the east and southern edges. With today’s forecast we are expecting fire growth towards the north northwest.

    The low laying smoke kept the relative humidity higher again yesterday by shading the sun from the wildfire. This helped keep the temperature from rising and drying out the burnable fuels like branches, needles, and other vegetation. Firefighters observe increased fire behaviour in the afternoon due to increased winds and when some of the smoke lifted, which caused the wildfire to spot over some of the containment lines. These areas include along the Foxholes Road, an area east of Connie’s road near Highway 5 and on the south side of Highway 5 between Thebacha Road and Bell Rock. Firefighters, heavy equipment, and helicopters with buckets continue to work on containing these areas.

    There are 376 personnel which includes 86 pieces of heavy equipment, 24 helicopters and 150 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. Firefighters continue to work in priority areas, assisted by helicopters and heavy equipment to prevent the spread towards communities.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for 26 Celsius and a relative humidity of 33 per cent with winds from south southeast 15 km/h, gusting up to 35 km/h.

    Tomorrow, the forecasted high is 30 Celsius and a relative humidity of 30 per cent. Winds from the south 10 km/h, gusting to 25 km/h.

    The forecast for early next week calls for hot dry conditions with mostly easternly winds, which is conducive to extreme fire behaviour.

    Today’s Objectives:

    The team will work to contain the north and east sides of the wildfire using firefighters, equipment and aerial resources, as long as safe working conditions allow.

    Helicopters continue to bucket in key locations along the wildfire perimeter where fire activity starts to pick up if visibility allows.

    Ignition Operations:

    Ignition specialists continue to look for opportunities for planned ignition operations. Conducting controlled burns are a great tool that firefighters use to remove the available fuel, bringing the wildfire to a containment line like a dozer guard or natural break like a river or a road. This removes the likelihood of the wildfire spreading further.

    Work Completed and Yesterday’s Fire Activity:

    Distance Disclaimer* These distances may have changed because there are several different ways of measuring and sometimes visibility and smoke can impact the accuracy of a distance measurement. Because this wildfire is such a dynamic incident, these distances are subject to change at any time, and we will do our best to update it as often as possible to keep everyone informed. Our distances are measured from the point on the fire line that is closest to the nearest residence within the cluster of houses the community.

    Thebacha

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 3.3 km from Thebacha*
    • Yesterday when smoky skies cleared in the late afternoon, we saw extreme fire behaviour in the area of the fire closest to Thebacha. Structure protection was turned on as a precautionary measure
    • With yesterday afternoon’s cleared skies and gusty winds the fire jumped an area of Connie’s Road. Helicopters worked to bucket the area to contain the spread
    • Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha Road and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road
    • Heavy equipment has tied the fire guard along Thebacha Road into the river at the north end
    • Heavy equipment widened the east side of the south end of Thebacha road and tied it into the river as an extra layer of protection for communities to the east

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 2.4 km away from Bell Rock*
    • A dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5
    • An additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5
    • Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith

    Fort Smith

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 3.4 km from Fort Smith*
    • Dozer crews continue to work west from Pine Lake Road strengthening dozer guards towards the wildfire perimeter, moving towards Fort Smith. Heavy equipment will continue to work to complete this guard
    • Structural protection crews continue to check the equipment installed around town
    • Upgrading of the old Fort Smith community guard has been completed and is now a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town
    • Airport Guards - Dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport. The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard
    • Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 5.3 km away from Border Town*
    • A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal
    • Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal
    • An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course
    • Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp

    Halfway

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 6.4 km away from the closest residence in Halfway*
    • Structure protection has been installed on all known residences in Halfway

    Fort Fitzgerald

    • The wildfire is approximately 3.1 km from the closest residence in town*
    • The north flank of the fire closest to Fort Fitzgerald showed active fire behaviour yesterday. Helicopters and firefighters were working in this area to contain the spread
    • A dozer crew continued to work to finish securing the southerly fire guard that had been breached on August 21

    Salt River Day Use Area

    • The wildfire crossed over Pine Lake Road and was burning on either side of the bridge near Salt River Day use area and Fish Camp. Structural protection sprinklers were turned on prior to the fire entering the area
    • Crews are still working the area today to put out spot fires

    Hay Camp

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 7 km away from Hay Camp*
    • Crews are monitoring the proximity of the wildfire to Hay Camp and are assessing the need and developing a plan for structure protection

    State of Emergency:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Additional Information

    Other Fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    All other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action fires as required. For more information visit: Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services Facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit GNWT Highway Conditions

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Caroline Charbonneau
    Alberta Forestry & Parks
    AB Wildfire
    Caroline.Charbonneau@gov.ab.ca
    780-740-1341

    Fire Information Update – August 26, 2023 @ 10:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before it’s safe. The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed under Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 468,381 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL.

    The north flanks of the complex saw active fire behaviour yesterday. With today’s forecasted wind change we are expecting fire growth towards the southeast. At its closest, the wildfire is approximately 3.4 km south of the closest residence within Fort Smith, NWT.

    Collectively, there are 376 personnel which includes 86 pieces of heavy equipment, 24 helicopters and 154 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. Crews continue to work tirelessly across the complex utilizing helicopters and heavy equipment to prevent the spread towards communities.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for 23 Celsius and a relative humidity of 40 per cent. Winds from the southwest at 10 km/h, gusting to 15 km/h in the morning with a cold front expected to come through around noon causing a change in wind direction to northwest 15 km/h gusting up to 40 km/h. There is a slight chance of 0.5 mm of scattered showers.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for 27 Celsius and a relative humidity of 30 per cent. Winds are forecasted to be from the south at 10 km/h, gusting up to 15 km/h. A change is expected to come from the southwest and an increase in the afternoon, at 15 km/h, gusting up to 35 km/h.

    The forecast for early next week calls for hot dry temperatures with southerly winds, which continues to be a threat to communities.

    Today’s Objectives:

    The team will work to contain the north and east flanks of the wildfire using crews, equipment and aerial resources, as long as safe working conditions allow.

    Helicopters continue to bucket in key locations along the wildfire perimeter where fire activity starts to pick up if visibility allows.

    Ignition Operations:

    Ignition specialists continue to be prepared to do planned ignition operations if conditions allow.

    Work Completed and Yesterday’s Fire Activity:

    Distance Disclaimer* These distances may have changed because there are several different ways of measuring and sometimes visibility and smoke can impact the accuracy of a distance measurement. Because this wildfire is such a dynamic incident, these distances are subject to change at any time, and we will do our best to update it as often as possible to keep everyone informed. Our distances are measured from the point on the fire line that is closest to the nearest residence within the cluster of houses the community.

    Thebacha

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 4.3 km from Thebacha*
    • Yesterday helicopters worked to bucket the area and airtankers supported the east side of the fire’s edge
    • Dozers worked along Connie’s road to create the fire guard
    • Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road
    • Heavy equipment has tied the fire guard along Thebacha Road into the river at the north end

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 2.4 km away from Bell Rock*
    • Structural protection crews went in to check the equipment installed around Bell Rock
    • Previously, a dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5
    • And recently, an additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5
    • Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith

    Fort Smith

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 3.4 km from Fort Smith*
    • Dozer crews continue to work west from Pine Lake Road strengthening dozer guards to the fire moving towards Fort Smith. Last night, heavy equipment worked to complete this guard
    • Structural protection crews continue to check the equipment installed around town
    • Airtankers were able to drop long-term retardant to strengthen the dozer guard on August 23
    • Upgrading of the old Fort Smith community guard has been completed and is now a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town
    • Airport Guards- Dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport. The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard
    • Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 5.3 km away from Border Town*
    • A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal
    • Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal
    • An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course
    • Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp

    Halfway

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 6.4 km away from the closest residence in Halfway*
    • Structure protection has been installed on all known residences in Halfway

    Fort Fitzgerald

    • The wildfire is approximately now 3.1 km from the closest residence in town*
    • The north flank of the fire closest to Fort Fitzgerald showed active fire behaviour yesterday. Helicopters bucketed the area where the fire activity was, then airtankers arrived to take over in the afternoon
    • A dozer crew worked to finish securing the southerly fire guard that had been breached on August 21
    • Structural protection sprinklers were utilized on Monday and Tuesday

    Salt River Day Use Area

    • The wildfire crossed over Pine Lake Road and was burning on either side of the bridge near Salt River Day use area and Fish Camp. Structural protection sprinklers were turned on prior to the fire entering the area
    • Crews are working the area today to put out spot fires

    Hay Camp

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 7 km away from Hay Camp*
    • Crews are monitoring the proximity of the wildfire to Hay Camp and are assessing the need and developing a plan for structure protection

    State of Emergency:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Additional Information

    Other Fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    All other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action fires as required. For more information visit: Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services Facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit GNWT Highway Conditions

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – August 25, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before its safe. The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed under Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 467,089 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL. Poor visibility from smoky skies yesterday meant that helicopters were unable to fly for the majority of the day.

    Some areas of the wildfire saw extreme fire behaviour yesterday and due to today’s forecast we are expecting extreme fire behaviour. At its closest, the wildfire remains approximately 3.4 km south of the closest residence within Fort Smith, NWT. Yesterday the wildfire grew closer to Thebacha, crossing Foxholes Road again and is now approximately 4.3 km from the closest residence within Thebacha. Structural protection sprinkler systems were turned on.

    Collectively, there are 354 personnel, 64 pieces of heavy equipment and 23 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. Included is 125 firefighters and structure protection personnel. Crews continue to work tirelessly across the complex to along the fire perimeter, by helicopter, and heavy equipment to try to stop the spread towards communities.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for 28 Celsius and a relative humidity of 25 per cent. Winds from the south 15 km/h, gusting up to 30 km/h and switching to south-southwest in the evening. With the relative humidity being lower than the forecasted high, crossover conditions are expected and suggests we will experience extreme fire behaviour. Additionally, winds are forecasted to push the wildfire towards the communities we are trying to protect. We understand that everyone wants to go back home but the threat of this wildfire has not passed.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for 23 Celsius and a relative humidity of 38 per cent. Winds are forecasted to be from the southwest in the morning 10 km/h, gusting up to 15 km/h. Around noon there is a chance of isolated showers with wind direction expected to switch to come from the west-northwest 10 km/h gusting up to 20 km/h, then switch again from the northwest at 15 km/h, gusting up to 35 km/h in the afternoon. Even if we receive the precipitation forecasted, we don’t anticipate it making a significant difference in drought conditions, as it likely won’t be enough to impact larger fuel types.

    Today’s Objectives:

    The team will work to contain the north and east flank of the wildfire using crews, equipment and aerial resources, as long as safe working conditions allow.

    Helicopters continue to bucket in key locations along the wildfire perimeter where fire activity starts to pick up if visibility allows.

    Ignition Operations:

    Ignition specialists continue to be prepared to do planned ignition operations if conditions allow.

    Work Completed and Yesterday’s Fire Activity:

    Distance Disclaimer* These distances may have changed because there are several different ways of measuring and sometimes visibility and smoke can impact the accuracy of a distance measurement. Because this wildfire is such a dynamic incident, these distances are subject to change at any time, and we will do our best to update it as often as possible to keep everyone informed. Our distances are measured from the point on the fire line that is closest to the nearest residence within the cluster of houses the community.

    Thebacha

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 4.3 km from Thebacha.*

    Yesterday dozer crews worked to strengthen dozer guards along the eastern flank of the wildfire to stop it from spreading towards Thebacha but pulled out of the area late in the afternoon because of increased fire activity. The safety of our crews is always at the top of mind.

    Helicopters were able to bucket the area in the morning before the smoke rolled in and then a helicopter was able to get back out to the area late in the afternoon. Dozers worked at clearing the eastern flank of the fire that is closest to Thebacha.

    Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road.

    Now heavy equipment is widening the dozer guard on the north side to tie it into the Slave River.

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 2.4 km away from Bell Rock.*

    Structural protection crews went in to check the equipment installed around Bell Rock.

    Previously, a dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5.

    And recently, an additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5.

    Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith.

    Fort Smith

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 3.4 km from Fort Smith.*

    Dozer crews continue to work their way west from Pine Lake Road strengthening dozer guards to the fire moving towards Fort Smith.

    Structural protection crews continue to check the equipment installed around town.

    Airtankers were able to drop long-term retardant to strengthen the dozer guard on August 23.

    Upgrading of the old Fort Smith community guard has been completed and is now a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town.

    Airport Guards- Dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport. The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard.

    Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp.

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 5.4 km away from Border Town.*

    A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal.

    Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal.

    An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course.

    Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp.

    Halfway

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 6.4 km away from the closest residence in Halfway.*

    Structure protection has been installed on all known residences in Halfway.

    Fort Fitzgerald

    The wildfire is approximately now 3.1 km from the closest residence in town.*

    Ground crews started laying hose around the area of the wildfire that had previously breached the south fire guard near Fort Fitzgerald. Crews will work to finish that today should conditions allow.

    A dozer crew worked to finish securing the southerly fire guard that had been breached on August 21.

    Structural protection sprinklers have been utilized for Monday and Tuesday.

    Salt River Day Use Area

    The wildfire crossed over Pine Lake Road and was burning on either side of the bridge near Salt River Day use area and Fish Camp.

    Structural protection sprinklers were turned on and were running the past two days and were refueled yesterday. Structural protection has worked well so far, which shows that this is an effective strategy.

    Hay Camp

    After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 7 km away from Hay Camp.*

    Crews are monitoring the proximity of the wildfire to Hay Camp and are planning on setting up structural protection in the area again when resources and timing allows.

    State of Emergency:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Additional Information

    Other Fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    All other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action fires as required. For more information: Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit GNWT Highway Conditions

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – August 24, 2023 @ 1:00 pm

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before its safe. Moderate fire behaviour was seen yesterday and we anticipate extreme fire behaviour in the near future based on the weather forecast.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed under Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 459,905 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL. At its closest, it is still approximately 4 km south of the closest residence within Fort Smith, NWT.

    On Tuesday, the wildfire grew towards Fort Fitzgerald, AB, breaching the more southerly of two fireguards and after collecting more accurate data, the wildfire is now approximately 3.1 km from the closest residence within Fort Fitzgerald. Structural protection sprinkler systems were turned on in Fort Fitzgerald. Helicopters bucketing on the wildfire were able to hold the wildfire from reaching Fort Fitzgerald.

    With the recent fire growth we experienced on Tuesday, we want to stress that this is an indication that the wildfire is still able to grow and could still impact these communities. Crews have worked tirelessly along the northern flanks with helicopter bucketing, dozer guard strengthening and direct attack to try to stop the spread towards communities.

    Collectively, there are 325 personnel, 57 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for 24 C and a relative humidity of 28 per cent. Winds are expected to start coming from the west at 5-10 km/h, gusting up to 15 km/h and switching to south in the evening. There’s no chance of precipitation.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for 28 C and a relative humidity of 25 per cent. Winds are forecasted to be from the south at 15 km/h, gusting up to 25 km/h, increasing to 15-20 km/h, gusting up to 35 km/h by early evening. Based on tomorrow’s forecast, we are expecting another challenging day of firefighting. Crossover conditions are expected, which suggests we will experience extreme fire behaviour. Additionally, winds are forecasted to push the wildfire towards the communities we are trying to protect. We understand that everyone wants to go back home but the threat of this wildfire has not passed.

    Today’s Objectives:

    Crew members will continue to strengthen containment lines along the north flank of the wildfire as long as safe working conditions allow. Heavy equipment continues to widen dozer guards along key areas, especially south of Fort Fitzgerald. Helicopters continue to bucket in key locations along the wildfire perimeter where fire activity starts to pick up.

    Ignition Operations:

    Yesterday’s Ignition: The ignition operation that was almost completed yesterday on the east side of the Fitz Slough to Hay Camp Road near Ryan Island went very well. Ignition specialists and crews are planning to finish the west side of this ignition operation today, if conditions allow.

    Work Completed and Yesterday’s Fire Activity:

    Thebacha

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 5.3 km from Thebacha.*
    • Yesterday helicopters bucketed and dozers worked at clearing the eastern flank of the fire that is closest to Thebacha.
    • Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road.
    • Now heavy equipment is widening the dozer guard on the north side to tie it into the Slave River.

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately 2.4 km away from Bell Rock.*
    • A dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5.
    • An additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5.
    • Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith.

    Fort Smith

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 4 km from Fort Smith.*
    • Yesterday airtankers were able to drop long-term retardant to strengthen the dozer guard.
    • Upgrading of the old Fort Smith community guard has been completed and is now a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town.
    • Airport Guards - Dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport. The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard.
    • Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp.

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

    • After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is currently 5.8 km away from Border Town.*
    • A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal.
    • Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal.
    • An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course.
    • Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp.

    Fort Fitzgerald

    • As previously mentioned, the wildfire moved closer to town with Tuesday’s fire activity after breaching the most southerly fireguard. After receiving an updated fire perimeter map, the wildfire is approximately now 3.1 km from town.* Because this wildfire is such a dynamic incident, this distance is subject to change at any time and we will do our best to update it as often as possible to keep everyone informed.
    • A dozer crew worked to finish securing the southerly fire guard that had been breached on August 21.
    • Structural protection sprinklers have been utilized for Monday and Tuesday.

    Salt River Day Use Area

    • The wildfire crossed over Pine Lake Road and was burning on either side of the bridge near Salt River Day use area and Fish Camp.
    • Structural protection sprinklers were turned on and were running the past two days and were refueled yesterday. Structural protection has worked well so far, which shows that this is an effective strategy.

    * These distances may have changed because there are several different ways of measuring and sometimes visibility and smoke can impact the accuracy of a distance measurement. Because this wildfire is such a dynamic incident, these distances are subject to change at any time and we will do our best to update it as often as possible to keep everyone informed.

    State of Emergency:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Did the fire get closer to Fort Smith?

    The north fire line remained almost unchanged. But active fire behaviour was seen so helicopters and crews continue to work along this line to bucket and clear the area. That being said, on Tuesday, the fire did grow in several other areas of the complex, including towards Fort Fitzgerald and Thebacha.

    What did the northerly winds mean as far as fire growth and expected fire behaviour in coming days?

    Yesterday’s winds from the north prevented the wildfire from moving towards communities, however they caused active fire behaviour on the southern edges of the complex. Forecasted wind for Friday and Saturday show wind coming from the south with low humidities so we are expecting extreme fire behaviour. The team has used these northerly winds for ignition operations to clear fuels along the northern fire line to pre-emptively remove fuels before the wind starts blowing towards communities again tomorrow. Given the extremely high drought codes all fuel is burning. We are expecting some challenging days ahead when the wind comes from the south again and blows towards communities.

    How does structure protection work?

    Structure protection is a sprinkler system that is set up on the top of buildings or any structures you’re intending to protect and uses a pump to run water through the sprinklers. Depending on the pump, it can usually run for about 12 hours before it needs a fuel refill. Structure protection crews will turn on pumps hours before they think a wildfire could get there to raise the humidity in the area around the protected structure, which will limit fire growth towards the structure. Then once a wildfire has burned around the structure, crews will usually leave up the structure protection until they are sure there is no more of a wildfire threat to the structure.

    This is not the time to come home, If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Please see the town of Fort Smith website for information on the evacuation order.

    Please DO NOT return to the area until the evacuation order has been lifted.

    Additional Information

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – August 23, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before its safe. Extreme fire behaviour was seen yesterday and is expected to continue for several days due to the weather forecast.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed using Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 453,012 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL. At its closest, it is still approximately 4 km south of Fort Smith, NWT. Despite the overall fire growth, there was no significant growth towards Fort Smith last night. We recognize that this distance has not changed in the last week or so and we would like to stress that this is not an indication that the fire is not growing or that the threat is gone. Crews have worked tirelessly along the northern flanks with helicopter bucketing, dozer guard strengthening and direct attack to try to stop the spread towards communities.

    Yesterday, the wildfire grew towards Fort Fitzgerald, AB, breaching the more southerly of two fireguards and is now approximately 3.5 km from the first structure in town. Structural protection sprinkler systems were turned on in Fort Fitzgerald.

    Collectively, there are 308 personnel, 57 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for 24 C and a relative humidity of 30 per cent. Winds are expected to come from the north at 10km/h, gusting up to 25 km/h.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for 24 C and a relative humidity of 30 per cent. Come Thursday evening, winds are forecasted to be from the northeast 10 km/h, gusting up to 15 km/h. Wind direction is expected to change to coming from the southeast into the night.

    Today’s Objectives:

    Crew members will use direct and indirect suppression strategies and established structural protection equipment where possible. The management team is also looking for the opportunity of planned ignitions to reduce the availability of fuels whenever safe working conditions allow. The crew continues to maintain and improve already established structure protection systems.

    Ignition Operations:

    Yesterday’s Ignition: The ignition operation that was completed yesterday requires a few more areas to be burned, so that is planned to be finished off early this morning.

    Today’s Ignition:

    Where? Should conditions allow, this operation will take place on the east side of the Fitz Slough to Highway 5 near Ryan Island.

    When? Based on current and forecasted weather conditions, we are planning an ignition operation for early this afternoon today, if conditions allow.

    What and Why? Ignition is a tool we use to remove fuel from an area during favourable weather conditions so that the wildfire can’t burn there later. Removing the fuel now creates a fire guard that will be helpful for when wind and weather conditions could have otherwise caused increased fire behaviour.

    Who and How? We will have helicopters ready to bucket to ensure the dozer guard holds, as well as structural protection equipment up and running on the east side of highway 5. Ignition operations are only conducted under the watchful eye of experienced wildfire managers and only during optimal conditions.

    Work Completed and Yesterday’s Fire Activity:

    Thebacha

    • Yesterday, we saw the fire cross Fox Holes Road and Connie’s Road again, and this time because of extreme drought conditions and unfavourable wind direction, it is now only 6.2 km from Thebacha.
    • Crews turned on structure protection equipment and pulled out of the area to ensure crew member safety.
    • Over the past days, helicopter bucketing has been happening throughout this area.
    • Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road.

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    • The fire is currently 2.8 km away from Bell Rock.
    • There has been no new work or fire behaviour in this area.
    • A dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5.
    • An additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5.
    • Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith.
    • Yesterday, structure protection work was completed.

    Fort Smith

    • The fire is currently 4 km from Fort Smith.
    • Yesterday, the fire growth closest to Fort Smith was able to be slowed for now, but did show active fire behaviour at the finger closest to town. Helicopters bucketed the area into the evening to keep it at bay.
    • Upgrading of the old Fort Smith community guard has been completed and is now a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town.
    • Airport Guards– dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport.
    • The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard.
    • Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp.

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

    • The fire is currently 5 km away from Border Town.
    • There has been no new work or fire behaviour in this area.
    • A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal.
    • Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal.
    • An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course.
    • Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp.

    Fort Fitzgerald

    • As previously mentioned, the fire has come closer to town with yesterday’s fire activity after breaching the most southerly fireguard. The fire is now 3.5 km from town.
    • Today dozers will work to strengthen the perimeter of the fire that had breached the southerly guard. This will allow us to re-establish protection from the south.
    • Yesterday two pumper trucks were positioned in Fort Fitzgerald ready to operate if the fire had reached the town.
    • Structural protection sprinklers were turned on yesterday and the day before.

    Pine Lake Road

    • The fire jumped over Pine Lake Road and was burning on either side of the bridge near Salt River Day Use Area. Structural protection was turned on.

    State of Emergency:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility:

    Highway Conditions (gov.nt.ca)

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Did the fire get closer to Fort Smith?

    The north fire line remained almost unchanged. But active fire behaviour was seen, so helicopters and crews continue to work along this line to bucket and clear the area. That being said, the fire did grow in several other areas of the complex, including towards Fort Fitzgerald and Thebacha.

    The forecast shows winds from the north, what does that mean as far as fire behaviour?

    Although the winds from the north do give us slight breathing room as far as immediate encroachment to communities, these forecasts indicate active fire behaviour on the southern edges of the complex. Forecasted wind for Friday and Saturday show wind coming from the south along with crossover conditions. The team is expecting a very hard week and are looking at options for planned ignition to clear fuels along the northern fire line to pre-emptively burn under favourable conditions before winds blow towards communities again as forecasted. Given the extremely high drought codes, all fuel is burning. We are staying aware of that and taking that into consideration when planning operations.

    How does structure protection work?

    Structure protection is a sprinkler system that is set up on the top of buildings or any structures you’re intending to protect and uses a pump to run water through the sprinklers. Depending on the pump, it can usually run for about 12 hours before it needs a fuel refill. Structure protection crews will turn pumps on hours before they think a wildfire could get there to raise the humidity in the area around the protected structure, which will limit fire growth towards the structure. Then once a wildfire has burned around the structure, crews will usually leave it up until they are sure there is no more of a wildfire threat to the structure.

    This is not the time to come home, if you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Please see the town of Fort Smith website for information on the evacuation order.

    Please DO NOT return to the area until the evacuation order has been lifted.

    Additional Information

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services Facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates

    Northwest Territories fire information

    Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For more information:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – August 22, 2023 @ 10:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    If you have evacuated, DO NOT return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before its safe.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed using Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 430,498 hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB. We recognize that this distance has not changed in the last week or so and we would like to stress that this is not an indication that the fire is being held. Crews have worked tirelessly along the northern flanks with helicopter bucketing, strengthening dozer guards and direct attack to try to stop its spread north. The conditions that we had last week gave us the time to do this necessary work, but the fire is filling out in other locations and is still a significant threat to the communities despite this pause in northern progress.

    Collectively, there are 277 personnel, 55 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today.

    Weather

    With yesterday’s warm, dry weather we saw a significant increase in fire behaviour, and we expect today to be the same. There is no precipitation in the forecast over the next few days.

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 27 C and a relative humidity of 22 per cent. Extreme fire behaviour is expected because of the forecasted crossover conditions. Crossover occurs when the humidity is lower than the temperature. Winds are forecasted to be southwest 10-15km/h, gusting up to 25-30 km/h. There is the potential for a jet stream to come through the area which would cause higher than forecasted winds.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for 23 C and a relative humidity of 33 per cent. Winds are expected to come from the north at 10km/h, gusting up to 25 km/h. There is still potential for extreme fire behaviour tomorrow.

    Today’s Objectives:

    Team members will use direct suppression strategies, including planned ignitions whenever safe working conditions allow. The crew is working to maintain and improve already established structure protection systems.

    Highlights of work done

    Thebacha

    • Yesterday the fire jumped north of Highway 5 and crossed Connies road. Helicopters immediately started bucketing in that area and were able to control that spot fire.
    • Structure protection work has been completed and yesterday sprinklers were turned on.
    • Over the past days, helicopter bucketing has been happening throughout area.
    • Approximately 10 km of dozer guard has been completed along the fire line south of the Thebacha and Highway 5 junction, working east towards Pine Lake Road.

    Bell Rock Subdivision

    • A dozer guard was established around the subdivision of Bell Rock on the south side of Highway 5.
    • An additional dozer guard was established on the west side of Bell Rock, north of Highway 5.
    • Crews also strengthened the containment line that is currently south of Highway 5 and south of Bell Rock. They are continuing to do this work east towards Fort Smith.
    • Yesterday, structure protection work was completed.

    Fort Fitzgerald

      • Dozers have refurbished three previously established fire guards to the north and south of Fort Fitzgerald. • Yesterday, crews worked to direct attack the fireline directly south of Fort Fitzgerald. • Structural protection sprinklers were turned on yesterday. Fort Smith • The old Fort Smith community guard has been refurbished to be a 15 blade wide (100 m) guard that has been scraped down to mineral soil. This community guard referred to as extends from West 40 (on Highway 5) to Pine Lake Road, just south of Border Town. • Airport Guards- Dozer guards have been constructed extending south, north, and west of the airport. The western guard connects to the nuisance grounds. The southern guard is connected into Fort Smith community guard. • Structure protection has been installed at the airport fire camp.

    Extensive additional work has been done around town for sprinkler systems and FireSmart work. For more information on these efforts, see the Fort Smith Protective Services Facebook page.

    Border Town

      • A fire guard was established along the powerline and along Kaeser’s Canal. • Sprinkler lines have been set up along Kaeser’s Canal. • An additional dozer guard was established from the edge of the Fort Smith community guard to Highway 5 towards the golf course. • Structure protection has been installed at the field of dreams fire camp.

    State of Emergency

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Fire Information Update – August 22, 2023 @ 10:00 am

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Do we have the conditions for planned ignition?

    Crews are continuing to look at options for ignition operations to gently bring the fire to natural fire breaks. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the fire spread once it joins up with the burned area. We only complete ignition operations with favourable weather conditions and under the watchful eye of experienced wildfire managers.

    Can we come home?

    With the hotter, drier weather, increased fire behaviour is imminent. THIS IS NOT the time to come home. The danger from this wildfire has not passed. A state of local emergency remains in effect for Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. IT IS UNSAFE FOR RESIDENTS TO RETURN.

    Staying away allows trained personnel is to focus on the communities, homes and cabins that mean so much to you. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Please see the town of Fort Smith website for information on the evacuation order.

    Please DO NOT return to the area until the evacuation order has been lifted.

    Additional Information

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services facebook page or the Town of Fort Smith webpage.

    For information on all other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit GNWT Highway Conditions

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – August 21, 2023 @ 11:00 am

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed using Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire. Unified Command means command is a shared responsibility of command among all agency Incident Commanders.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 415,420 hectares in size. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB. With the warmer drier temperatures forecasted and southerly winds the fire is expected to grow over the coming days and smoky conditions are expected.

    Collectively, there are 263 personnel, 55 pieces of heavy equipment and 24 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. These essential first responders remain in Fort Smith to work on the wildfire.

    Weather

    Continued warm, dry weather is expected to increase fire behaviour today and over the next couple of days. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders if people start coming back before its safe.

    The danger from this wildfire has not passed. A state of local emergency remains in effect for Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. IT IS UNSAFE FOR RESIDENTS TO RETURN.

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 26 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 24-28 per cent. Winds are expected to come from the west-southwest at 10 km/h, gusting up to 20-25 km/h.

    Tomorrow, the forecast calls for a high of 27 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 20-23 per cent. Crossover conditions are anticipated for tomorrow. Crossover occurs when the humidity is lower than the temperature. This causes extreme fire behaviour and is extremely unsafe for people to be around. Winds are expected to come from the southwest at 10-15km/h, gusting up to 20-25 km/h. Given the forecast, this could be an extreme fire behaviour day.

    A dozer crew worked overnight again on the south side of Highway 5 between Thebacha Road and Bell Rock to tightline the fire. Today crews are focused on completing the continuous control line using mechanical guards, sprinkler lines and natural features that runs south of Highway 5 from Salt River all the way to Fort Fitzgerald. Structural protection teams are completing set up of infrastructure around all values at risk between Salt River and Fort Fitzgerald. The team will continue to look for opportunities to gently bring the fire to natural fire break features with planned ignition.

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information: Town of Fort Smith.

    Frequently Asked Questions/ Comments:

    Do we have the conditions for planned ignition?

    Yesterday crews attempted a strategic ignition operation yesterday near Highway 5 and Salt River, however conditions were not conducive to it being successful. Crews are continuing to look at options for ignition operations to gently bring the fire to natural fire breaks. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    Can we come home?

    With the hotter drier weather, increased fire behaviour is imminent. THIS IS NOT the time to come home.

    Although we appreciate that your desire to return is very strong, the risk to communities has not passed, and the situation remains critical, not only in the Fort Smith area but throughout the South Slave Region.

    We need to ensure that you and your families remain out of harm’s way to allow trained personnel to focus efforts on protecting the communities, homes and cabins that mean so much to you.

    Please see the town of Fort Smith website for information on the evacuation order.

    Please DO NOT return to the area until the evacuation order has been lifted.

    Additional Information

    For additional information on the efforts being done in the Town of Fort Smith visit their protective services facebook page.

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    For information on all wildfire within Northwest Territories, visit Northwest Territories fire information.

    For information on all wildfires within Alberta, visit Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    Wood Buffalo National Park

    All other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action fires as required.

    Pine Lake Road, including Pine Lake Recreation Area, remain CLOSED due to fire behaviour and ongoing fire operations in the area.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    Emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – Aug 20, 2023 @ 1100 hrs

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex is managed using Unified Command with the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire. Unified Command means command is a shared responsibility of command among all agency Incident Commanders. Managing this fire complex under Unified Command creates a safer environment to work in. All agencies know where resources are and what they are being used for. They can use all available resources and work in tandem rather than working around each other.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 415,420 hectares in size. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB. Although for the past several days the complex has seen little growth due to favourable wind directions, scattered showers and cooler temperatures, tonight this trend is forecasted to change.

    Collectively, there are 265 personnel, 55 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. These essential first responders remain in Fort Smith to work on the wildfire.

    A dozer crew with the help of a helicopter worked overnight on the south side of highway 5 between Thebacha Road and Bell Rock to tightline the fire. Today and tomorrow, crews are working to complete a continuous control line using mechanical guards, sprinkler lines and natural features that runs south of Highway 5 from Salt River all the way to Fort Fitzgerald. Structural protection is continuing to be set up around all values at risk between Salt River and Fort Fitzgerald.

    Today the team will continue to look for opportunities to gently bring the fire to natural fire break features using planned ignition. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    It remains unsafe for residents to return to Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns from fire activity and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information: Town of Fort Smith.

    Weather:

    Today’s forecasted high is 22 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 38 percent, with winds coming from the west at 10km/h gusting to 20km/h. Into this evening, winds are expected to shift to south southeast and then southwest starting tonight and into Monday. The coming week is expected to bring southerly winds and warmer, drier conditions with Monday’s high being 26 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity of 30 percent. This may cause an increase in fire behaviour, including visible smoke.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Is there power, internet and cell service in Fort Smith?

    Yes. Critical infrastructure within the town continues to be powered by an auxiliary system as the main plant has been shut down. Power has been shut off west of Trout Street since August 14. Thankfully, cell phone and internet lines are restored. Potable water and emergency health services remain.

    When will you be able to return home?

    We understand that this is a difficult time for all of you.

    We want to thank everyone who has taken the difficult step to leave their homes.

    We appreciate that your desire to return home is very strong, but please be aware that the current crisis has not passed, and the situation remains critical, not just in the Fort Smith area but throughout the South Slave Region. With a change in weather on the horizon, we need to ensure that you and your families remain out of harm’s way to allow us to direct our focus and efforts to protecting the communities, homes and cabins that mean so much to you.

    The area will remain under evacuation order until the threat from fire has passed, and the town of Fort Smith is ready to welcome you home.

    Additional Information

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    For information on all wildfire within Northwest Territories, visit Northwest Territories fire information.

    For information on all wildfires within Alberta, visit Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    Wood Buffalo National Park

    All other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action fires as required.

    Pine Lake Road, including Pine Lake Recreation Area, remain CLOSED due to fire behaviour and ongoing fire operations in the area.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – Aug 19, 2023 @ 1100 hrs

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    As of the evening of August 16, the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire have made the decision to enter Unified Command. Unified Command means that there is shared responsibility of command among all agency Incident Commanders.

    This decision was made to create a safer environment to work on the wildfire as all agencies know where all resources are working. This also allows for better utilization of resources so that operations can work in tandem, rather than working around each other.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 408,803 hectares in size. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB. Thanks to the increased humidity, light rain and a change in wind direction the, Wood Buffalo Complex wildfire has had minimal growth over the past four days and has given us the opportunity to make progress on the wildfire.

    Collectively, there are 250 personnel, 55 pieces of heavy equipment and 25 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. These essential first responders remain in Fort Smith to work on the wildfire.

    Over the coming days, crews will work to complete a continuous control line using mechanical guards, sprinkler lines and natural features that runs south of Highway 5 from Salt River all the way to Fort Fitzgerald. Structural protection personnel will finish work in the Bell Rock area today and will begin setting up in the Tamarack area. In the coming days, teams will work towards having all structural protection or natural control lines around all values at risk between Salt River and Fort Fitzgerald.

    Crews tested the opportunity to conduct a strategic micro-ignition yesterday near Highway 5 and Salt River, however relative humidity and cooler temperatures did not provide the necessary conditions to conduct this work. The team will continue to look for opportunities to gently bring the fire to natural fire break features. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area. 

    It remains unsafe for residents to return to Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns from fire activity and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Please visit the Smith’s Landing First Nation’s Facebook for EVACUATION information: Smith's Landing First Nation.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information: Town of Fort Smith.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Does Fort Smith Have Power?

    The critical infrastructure in town continues to have power, supplied by the auxiliary system as the main plant has been shut down. Power has been shut off west of Trout Street. Yesterday cell phone service was restored after lines had been damaged near Enterprise. Other critical resources such as potable water and emergency health services are in place.

    When will you be able to return home?

    We understand that this is a difficult time for all of you. Being evacuated from your homes and the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. The goal of Parks Canada, the Government of the NWT, Alberta Wildfire and the Town of Fort Smith is to do our best to make it possible for you to safely return to your community.

    We want to thank everyone who has taken the difficult step to leave their homes. We also want you to know how important it is that you and your families remain in the safe places that have been provided for you. Knowing you and your families are out of harm’s way allows us to direct our focus and efforts to protecting the communities, homes and cabins that mean so much to you.

    We appreciate your desire to return home is very strong, but please be aware that the current crisis has not passed, and the situation remains critical, not just in the Fort Smith area but throughout the South Slave Region. The area will remain under evacuation order until the threat from fire has passed.

    Weather:

    Today’s forecasted high is 20 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 45 percent, with winds coming from the west-northwest at 15km/h gusting 30 to 35 km/h.

    Additional Information

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    For information on all wildfire within Northwest Territories, visit Northwest Territories fire information.

    For information on all wildfires within Alberta, visit Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    Wood Buffalo National Park

    Am I able to travel down Pine Lake Road to Pine Lake, Peace Point, or Fort Chipewyan in the event of an evacuation order?

    No. Due to ongoing fire behaviour and fire operations in the area, the Pine Lake Road and Recreation Area remain closed. It is unsafe to be in this area at this time.

    Fire 18 and Fire 23:

    Parks Canada will continue to actively monitor these fires as they have the potential to impact efforts to address Fire 7.

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    Other fires in the park currently do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. We will continue to monitor as required.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – Aug 18, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    As of the evening of August 16, the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire have made the decision to enter Unified Command. Unified Command means that there is shared responsibility of command among all agency Incident Commanders.

    This decision was made because the wildfire that was originally in Wood Buffalo National Park breached the border to the Northwest Territories and Alberta. Once the wildfire crossed jurisdictional boundaries, multiple agencies started working in close quarters and establishing Unified Command which will help keep objectives and communications clear. This creates a safer environment to work on the wildfire as all agencies know where all resources are working. This also allows for better utilization of resources so that operations can work in tandem, rather than working around each other.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 408,803 hectares in size. At its closest, it is approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB. Thanks to the increased humidity and a change in wind direction the Wood Buffalo Complex wildfire has had minimal growth over the past three days. Yesterday, we received 2mm of precipitation in Fort Smith and this will buy us time to make good progress on the wildfire.

    Collectively, there are 187 personnel, 53 pieces of heavy equipment and 21 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today. These essential first responders remain in Fort Smith to work on the wildfire.

    Today’s priority continues to be focused on preventing the fire from impacting Fort Smith, the airport, Fort Fitzgerald, Smith’s Landing First Nation, Thebacha, Bordertown, Halfway and Bell Rock.

    A fire guard was established around part of the fire on the east side of Highway 5 near where the Salt River runs under the road. Helicopters and crews continue working to along the guard to extinguish hot spots. An old fire guard has been re-established running from west 40 at Highway 5 east of Fort Smith and has now been connected to the airport to aid in community protection. Heavy equipment crews are working to establish fire guards around Fort Fitzgerald and Smith’s Landing First nation and have also completed a guard around Bell Rock. We also have crews working along the fireline south of Fort Fitzgerald.

    Crews continue to examine opportunities to conduct strategic micro-ignition efforts near Highway 5 and other strategic areas to gently bring the fire to natural fire break features. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    It remains unsafe for residents to return to Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns from fire activity and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Please visit the Smith’s Landing First Nation’s Facebook for EVACUATION information: Smith's Landing First Nation.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information: Town of Fort Smith.

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Does Fort Smith Have Power?

    The town continues to have power and other critical resources such as potable water and emergency health services. There are some telecommunication towers that have been impacted by the wildfire and we will work to get them up and running when it is safe to do so.

    When will you be able to return home?

    We understand that this is a difficult time for all of you. Being evacuated from your homes and the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. The goal of Parks Canada, the Government of the NWT, Alberta Wildfire and the Town of Fort Smith is to do our best to make it possible for you to safely return to your community.

    We want to thank everyone who has taken the difficult step to leave their homes. We also want you to know how important it is that you and your families remain in the safe places that have been provided for you. Knowing you and your families are out of harm’s way allows us to direct our focus and efforts to protecting the communities, homes and cabins that mean so much to you.

    We appreciate your desire to return home is very strong, but please be aware that the current crisis has not passed, and the situation remains critical, not just in the Fort Smith area but throughout the South Slave Region. The area will remain under evacuation order until the threat from fire has passed.

    Weather:

    Today’s forecasted high is 17 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 40 percent, with winds coming from the northwest at 15 to 20km/h gusting to 30 or 35 km/h. The weekend weather is looking like it will bring temperatures in the low 20’s and winds from the west.

    Additional Information

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    For information on all wildfire within Northwest Territories, visit Northwest Territories fire information.

    For information on all wildfires within Alberta, visit Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    As a temporary measure, while the fibre optic lines are down, please report wildfires or suspicious smoke in Wood Buffalo National Park to the Fire Duty Officer via email at wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – Aug 17, 2023 @ 1300 hrs

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    As of yesterday evening, the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire have made the decision to enter Unified Command. Unified Command means that there is shared responsibility of command among all agency Incident Commanders.

    This decision was made because there was originally a wildfire in Wood Buffalo National Park that has now breached the Northwest Territories and Alberta borders. Once a wildfire crosses jurisdictional boundaries, multiple agencies may start working in close quarters and establishing Unified Command will help keep objectives and communications clear.

    This creates a safer environment to work on the wildfire as all agencies know where all resources are working. This also allows for better utilization of resources so that operations can work in tandem, rather than working around each other.

    Wood Buffalo Complex is currently 431,198 hectares in size. It is located approximately 4km south of Fort Smith, NWT and 6km south of Fort Fitzgerald, AB.

    Collectively, there are 163 personnel, 29 pieces of heavy equipment and 21 helicopters responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex today.

    Thanks to the increased humidity and light winds the Wood Buffalo Complex wildfire in Wood Buffalo National Park has had little growth over the past two days. Last night, we received 1mm of precipitation in Fort Smith.

    Today’s priority continues to be placed on efforts to prevent the fire from impacting Fort Smith, the airport, Fort Fitzgerald, Smith’s Landing First Nation, Thebacha, Bordertown, Halfway and Bell Rock.

    A fire guard was established around part of the fire on the east side of Highway 5 near where the Salt River runs under the road. Today, crews are finishing work along the guard to extinguish hot spots, with the help of helicopter bucketing. An old fire guard has been re-established running from west 40 at Highway 5 east of Fort Smith and has now been connected to the airport to aid in community protection.

    Crews continue to examine opportunities to conduct strategic micro-ignition efforts near Highway 5 to gently bring the fire to the pavement. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    It remains unsafe for residents to return to Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald. The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns from fire activity and limited visibility.

    Please visit the Smith’s Landing First Nation’s Facebook for EVACUATION information: Smith's Landing First Nation.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information: Town of Fort Smith.

    In order to reduce unnecessary stress on limited critical resources in the community of Fort Smith such as potable water, communication lines, health care services and the local power supply, non-essential first responders were relocated to nearby locations earlier this week. Essential first responders continue to remain in place.

    Weather:

    Today’s high is 21 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 45 percent, with winds coming from the southwest at 20km/h. A cold front will move into the region and is expected to bring wind gusts of up to 30km/h and a change in wind direction to northwest, with possible showers.

    Additional Information

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    For information on all wildfire within Northwest Territories, visit Northwest Territories fire information.

    For information on all wildfires within Alberta, visit Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Fire 18 and Fire 23:

    Parks Canada will continue to actively monitor these fires as they have the potential to impact efforts to address Fire 7.

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    Other fires in the park currently do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. We will continue to monitor as required.

    As a temporary measure, while the fibre optic lines are down, please report wildfires or suspicious smoke in Wood Buffalo National Park to the Fire Duty Officer via email at wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnbwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4969

    Emily Smith
    Wildfire Information Officer
    Fort McMurray Forest Area
    emily.smith@gov.ab.ca
    780-799-9253

    Fire Information Update – Aug 16, 2023 @ 1100 hrs

    There are 89 personnel and 6 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Thanks to increased humidity and slightly cooler temperatures over the past two days, Fire 7 in Wood Buffalo National Park saw little growth yesterday. The current location of Fire 7 remains approximately 4 km south of Fort Smith.

    Despite the cooler, wetter weather, it is not safe for residents to return to Fort Smith. The Town of Fort Smith remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for the safety of the public. Mayor and council are working closely with Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Alberta Wildfire to monitor the situation and are making decisions accordingly.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information Town of Fort Smith.

    The safety of the public and first responders is everyone’s top priority.

    In order to reduce unnecessary stress on limited critical resources in the community of Fort Smith such as potable water, communication lines, health care services and the local power supply, Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the municipality of Fort Smith began to relocate non-essential first responders to nearby locations earlier this week. Essential first responders continue to remain in place.

    Fire 7:

    Today’s priority continues to be placed on efforts to prevent the fire from impacting Fort Smith, the airport and other communities.

    A fire guard has been established around part of the fire on the east side of Highway 5 near where the Salt River runs under the road. Today crews are extinguishing hot spots along that fire guard.

    Crews are examining opportunities to conduct strategic micro-ignition efforts near Highway 5 to gently bring the fire to the pavement. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    Structural protection equipment is being redeployed to values at risk within the anticipated fire area.

    Fire 18 and Fire 23:

    Parks Canada will continue to actively monitor these fires as they have the potential to impact efforts to address Fire 7.

    Are there still impacts to Highway 5?

    Yes. Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns from fire activity and limited visibility.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Am I able to travel down Pine Lake Road to Pine Lake, Peace Point, or Fort Chipewyan in the event of an evacuation order?

    No. Due to ongoing fire behaviour and fire operations in the area, the Pine Lake Road and Recreation Area remain closed. It is unsafe to be in this area at this time.

    Fire updates:

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    Other fires in the park currently do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. We will continue to monitor as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park:

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather:

    Today’s forecasted high is 23 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 30 percent. Winds are forecasted to be west southwest 15-20 km/h gusting 25-30 km/h with chance of scattered showers or thundershowers.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Fire Information Update – Aug 15, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 93 personnel and 6 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Less severe than forecasted fire behaviour and late-day showers helped to slow the spread of Fire 7 in Wood Buffalo National Park yesterday.

    The current location of Fire 7 is approximately 4 km, south of Fort Smith. The fire is currently flanking toward Highway 5 and Fort Smith. A flanking fire is a fire that parallels the wind direction and moves more slowly.

    While last night’s rain was welcome, only 1mm of rain fell in the Fort Smith area. This amount of moisture provides roughly two-thirds of a day before fire behaviour returns to extreme burning conditions.

    It is not safe for residents to return to Fort Smith. The Town of Fort Smith remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for the safety of the public. Mayor and council are working closely with Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Alberta Wildfire to monitor the situation and are making decisions accordingly.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information Town of Fort Smith | Town of Fort Smith.

    Due to limited critical resources in the community of Fort Smith, first responders from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and the municipality of Fort Smith began to temporarily relocate their bases of operations to nearby locations. The safety of the public and first responders is everyone’s top priority.

    Why?

    There have been significant impacts to the area’s power supply, and the ability to continue to treat potable water, maintain communication lines, and healthcare services is no longer sustainable. This makes it very difficult for first responders to do their jobs safely.

    Fire 7:

    Today, priority will be placed on efforts to prevent the fire from impacting Fort Smith, the airport and other communities.

    Should favourable conditions exist, in areas where the fire is coming toward Highway 5, crews will examine opportunities to conduct strategic micro-ignition efforts to gently bring the fire to the pavement. Removing fuel prior to an approaching fire can slow down the spread of fire once it joins up with the burned area.

    Protection efforts for values at risk along Highway 5 will continue.

    Fire 18 and Fire 23:

    Parks Canada will continue to actively monitor these fires as they have the potential to impact efforts to address Fire 7.

    Are there still impacts to Highway 5?

    Yes. GNWT traffic flaggers will be on site again today monitoring road conditions with wildfire personnel from the air. Traffic flaggers work morning and night, 24/7. When safe, flaggers are either allowing traffic through at a reduced speed or piloting vehicles through the affected area. When required, flaggers will stop traffic on Highway 5 until it is safe for people to proceed. Visibility may be impacted, and delays should be expected. Plan ahead.

    Please continue to avoid non-essential travel in the area. For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Am I able to travel down Pine Lake Road to Pine Lake, Peace Point, or Fort Chipewyan in the event of an evacuation order?

    No. Due to ongoing fire behaviour and fire operations in the area, the Pine Lake Road and Recreation Area remain closed. It is unsafe to be in this area at this time.

    Fire updates:

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park:

    Other fires in the park currently do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. We will continue to monitor as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park:

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather:

    Today’s high is 21 degrees Celsius with relative humidity of 40 percent. Winds will be southerly in the morning 10 km/h, gusting to 15. Winds will shift to the north in the afternoon 5 km/h gusting to 15 km/h. While there is some rain in the forecast in the short-term, the system is unstable, meaning some areas may receive precipitation and others not. The risk of thundershowers also exists.

    For further information, contact:

    Michelle Macullo
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4989

    Fire Information Update – Aug 14, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 183 personnel and 17 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    An evacuation ORDER is in place. Please refer back to local authorities, such as the Town of Fort Smith, for evacuation information: https://www.fortsmith.ca/news/evacuation-order

    Highway 5

    Please note that there are numerous highway closures due to the overall fire situation in the NWT. For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Fire 7 – Wood Buffalo National Park

    What happened yesterday:

    As a result of strong winds from the west gusting upwards of 60km/hr, as forecasted Fire 7 showed significant activity and spread eastwards towards communities. Fire personnel were pulled from the fireline by 1230h yesterday and aircraft were unable to fly past 1400h.

    Why were crews and aircraft pulled from the line?

    Ground crews are not able to suppress such extreme fire behaviour and it’s extremely unsafe for them to be anywhere near the fire’s head. The safety of the public and our first responders are always our first priority. We want everyone to get home safe.

    Aircraft were grounded at 1400h due to extreme smoke conditions impacting visibility.

    Last night:

    Later in the evening, wind speeds decreased which reduced the rate of fire spread. Fire personnel from all fire agencies (Parks Canada, GNWT Wildfire, AB Wildfire) monitored the fire progress via vehicle and thermal imaging overnight. They estimate that as of 0700h this morning, Fire 7 was estimated to be 5km south of Fort Smith.

    Today:

    Parks Canada is currently working closely with the GNWT, Alberta, and the town of Fort Smith to keep communities informed and safe. Please continue to contact the Town of Fort Smith for any questions related to evacuation information.

    Today, structural protection crews, will assess impacted areas from last night’s fire spread and continue to run sprinkler systems. The incident management teams will also be looking at broader containment strategies to ensure the safety of the communities given continued challenging fire behaviour conditions.

    While forecast winds are not as strong and gusty as yesterday, current drought conditions are contributing to continued extreme fire behaviour and will lead to additional fire growth. Unsettled atmospheric conditions may bring localized wind gusts, affecting some areas of the fire more than others.

    An update will be provided by 2200h tonight.

    For fire information updates (SS022) from the GNWT, visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update

    Alberta Wildfire - MNZ003:

    On Saturday, August 12, Alberta Wildfire assumed command of a section of Fire 7 on the northeastern side (see attached map). This means that Parks Canada, the GNWT, and Alberta Wildfire will work closely on Fire 7 both in and outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary to limit fire spread toward communities.

    For information on the eastern side of Fire 7 (MNZ003), visit Alberta Wildfire: https://srd.web.alberta.ca/fort-mcmurray-area-update

    Weather

    Today, temperatures are forecasted to reach 23 degrees with west/northwest winds of 15km/h gusting to 35km/h. Unsettled atmospheric conditions may arrive bringing possible thundershowers, strong localized winds and downdrafts.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 13, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 158 personnel and 19 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    EVACUATION ORDER: Following a recommendation by Parks Canada due to forecasted fire behaviour and potential impacts to Highway 5, the town of Fort Smith has issued an evacuation ORDER for the safety of the public.

    An evacuation ORDER has also been issued for Smith’s Landing First Nation, Fort Fitzgerald, Thebacha, and outlying communities by the responsible governing bodies.

    Important links and contacts:

    1. Fort Smith Emergency Preparedness
    2. MACA (Municipal and Community Affairs)
    3. Smith’s Landing First Nation

    Why

    Strong winds from the west are forecasted to push Wood Buffalo National Park’s Fire 7 to the east, close to communities. Given the forecasted fire behaviour and spread over the next 72 hours, an evacuation ORDER was recommended by Parks Canada and put into place by Fort Smith, Smith’s Landing First Nation, and MACA.

    2. Will there be more impacts to Highway 5?

    Yes. By early this morning, increased fire behaviour and dense smoke may result in intermittent or extended delays or closures. 

    GNWT traffic flaggers will be on site monitoring road conditions with wildfire personnel from the air. Traffic flaggers work morning and night, 24/7. When safe, flaggers are either allowing traffic through at a reduced speed or piloting vehicles through the affected area. When required, flaggers will stop traffic on Highway 5 until it is safe for people to proceed. Visibility may be severely impacted, and delays should be expected. Plan ahead.

    Please continue to avoid non-essential travel in the area.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    3. Am I able to travel down Pine Lake Road to Pine Lake, Peace Point, or Fort Chipewyan now that there is an evacuation order in place?

    No. Due to ongoing fire behaviour and fire operations in the area, the Pine Lake Road and Recreation Area remain closed. It is unsafe to be in this area at this time.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    Crews continued to make progress yesterday, constructing containment lines and suppressing areas in the north end of Fire 7. Helicopters worked to bucket on the south side of Highway 5 supporting the heavy equipment crews who worked to put in a line adjacent to the fire’s edge. Foxholes and Parson’s Lake Road are also being widened as secondary fire containment lines.

    Parks Canada continues to work closely with the GNWT on this fire. Two members of the GNWT have been integrated into the Parks Canada Incident Command Team, under the Operations section. The GNWT is also supporting suppression with tanker support.

    For fire information updates (SS022) from the GNWT, visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Alberta Wildfire - MNZ003:

    On Saturday, August 12, Alberta Wildfire assumed command of a section of Fire 7 on the northeast side of the fire (see attached map). This means that Parks Canada and Alberta Wildfire will work closely on Fire 7 both in and outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary to limit fire spread towards communities.

    For information on the eastern side of Fire 7 (MNZ003), visit Alberta Wildfire.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to be monitored by fire personnel who have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure. This fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor values at risk adjacent to the fire and action as required.

    Weather

    Today, temperatures may reach 28 degrees with strong northwest winds gusting to 60km/h.

    Extreme winds will increase fire activity throughout the day. Significant fire spread is expected over the next 72 hours.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 12, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 142 personnel and 12 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    ALERT: Following a recommendation by Parks Canada due to forecasted fire behaviour, the town of Fort Smith has issued an evacuation ALERT. This ALERT has been issued for the safety of the public. Please read on for critical safety information and resources.

    Why?

    Strong winds from the west are forecasted to push Wood Buffalo National Park’s Fire 7 to the east, close to communities. Given the forecasted fire behaviour and spread over the next several days, an evacuation ALERT was recommended by Parks Canada and put into place by Fort Smith.

    FAQ

    1. Will the ALERT for Fort Smith move to an ORDER?

    The municipality of Fort Smith has the sole responsibility of issuing evacuation NOTICES, ALERTS, or ORDERS to residents. Mayor and council are working closely with Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Alberta Wildfire to monitor the situation and are making decisions accordingly. Fire agencies such as Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, and the GNWT are responsible for providing recommendations to the municipality based on current or forecasted fire behaviour.

    Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information.

    For outlying communities or Indigenous Nations, MACA (Municipal and Community Affairs) and each Nation have the sole responsibility of issuing evacuation NOTICES, ALERTS, or ORDERS to their community members.

    Agencies, Nations, and MACA are working closely with Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Alberta Wildfire to monitor the situation and are making decisions accordingly.

    2. Are there still impacts to Highway 5?

    Yes. GNWT traffic flaggers will be on site again today monitoring road conditions with wildfire personnel from the air. Traffic flaggers work morning and night, 24/7. When safe, flaggers are either allowing traffic through at a reduced speed or piloting vehicles through the affected area. When required, flaggers will stop traffic on Highway 5 until it is safe for people to proceed.

    Please continue to avoid non-essential travel in the area. If you need to use Highway 5 between Salt Mountain and Preble Creek over the next few days, plan ahead. Expect extended delays of up to a few hours during the heat of the day (late afternoon/early evening).

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    3. Am I able to travel down Pine Lake Road to Pine Lake, Peace Point, or Fort Chipewyan in the event of an evacuation order?

    No. Due to ongoing fire behaviour and fire operations in the area, the Pine Lake Road and Recreation Area remain closed. It is unsafe to be in this area at this time.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    As of today, Saturday, August 12, Alberta Wildfire will be assuming command of a section of Fire 7 on the northeast side of the fire (see attached map). This means that Parks Canada and Alberta Wildfire will work closely on Fire 7 both in and outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary.

    This will be the last update that Parks Canada provides for the northeast side of Fire 7. Moving forward, Alberta Wildfire will provide information on this section of the fire.

    Progress was made today to construct containment lines and suppress areas in the north end of Fire 7. This work was done in preparation for the incoming extreme winds that are forecasted from the west over the weekend.

    Heavy equipment worked today to put in a line adjacent to the fire’s edge in multiple areas. 18 aircraft worked to support the heavy equipment on the ground. Helicopter bucketing operations provided enough time for the heavy equipment operators to get a line in on the northwest portion of the fire.

    Ignition operations on the northeast side of Fire 7 took place today reducing available fuels in advance of the wildfire. Structural protection is in place in the event this edge keeps growing over the next few days.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to be monitored by fire personnel who have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    This fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor values at risk adjacent to the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today, temperatures may reach 24 degrees with light northwest winds from 10 to 15 km/h gusting to 25km/h.

    Sunday, winds shift and will push towards the east. Very high winds are expected, resulting in significant wildfire growth.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 11, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 142 personnel and 10 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    FAQ

    Is there currently an evacuation alert or order for Fort Smith?

    No. Fort Smith is under an evacuation NOTICE: https://fortsmith.ca/news/protective-services-wildfire-update-august-08-2023

    The municipality of Fort Smith has the sole responsibility of issuing evacuation NOTICES, ALERTS, or ORDERS to residents. Mayor and council are working closely with Parks Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Alberta Wildfire to monitor the situation and are making decisions accordingly. There is currently NO evacuation order at this time. Please visit the Fort Smith website for up-to-date emergency planning information.

    Are there still impacts to Highway 5?

    Yes. GNWT traffic flaggers will be on site again today monitoring road conditions with wildfire personnel from the air. Traffic flaggers work morning and night, 24/7. When safe, flaggers are either allowing traffic through at a reduced speed or piloting vehicles through the affected area. When required, flaggers will stop traffic on Highway 5 until it is safe for people to proceed.

    Please continue to avoid non-essential travel in the area. If you need to use Highway 5 between Salt Mountain and Preble Creek over the next few days, plan ahead. Expect extended delays of up to a few hours during the heat of the day (late afternoon/early evening).

    There is currently no risk to people or communities.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    Yesterday, the northwestern edge of Fire 7 continued to spread northwest, across Highway 5, between Preble Creek and Salt Mountain. Fire crews worked alongside heavy equipment, helicopter bucketing, and GNWT air tankers laying down retardant lines to limit further northward growth.

    The northeast side of the Fire 7 also grew northwest towards the Salt River Day-Use Area. The day-use area and adjacent structures have facility protection equipment installed in the event of further spread to the northwest.

    We will continue to provide accurate and timely information to the public and work closely with the neighbouring agencies (GNWT and Alberta Wildfire) to respond to this fire and to protect communities, critical infrastructure, or other values in the area.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to be monitored by fire personnel who have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    This fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor values at risk adjacent to the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Yesterday, some areas within Fire 7 received varying amounts of rain which helped to reduce fire behaviour throughout the day. However, other areas did not receive any rain.

    Today, drying conditions are forecasted and fire behaviour is expected to increase. Temperatures may reach 22 degrees with southeast winds 10-15 gusting to 25km/h. This may result in another day of significant growth.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 10, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 134 personnel and 10 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Highway 5: The wildfire situation is rapidly evolving, and the impacts to Highway 5 are constantly changing. This makes it difficult to provide accurate, time-sensitive, public updates.

    For up-to-date road conditions, visit the GNWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways

    GNWT traffic flaggers will be on site again today monitoring road conditions with wildfire personnel from the air. When safe, flaggers are either allowing traffic through at a reduced speed or piloting vehicles through the affected area. When required, flaggers will stop traffic on Highway 5 until it is safe for people to proceed.

    Please avoid non-essential travel in the area. If you need to use Highway 5 between Salt Mountain and Preble Creek over the next 24 hours, plan ahead. Expect extended delays of up to a few hours during the heat of the day (late afternoon/early evening) and in the early morning when the smoke is thickest.

    There is currently no risk to people or communities.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    Yesterday, significant growth occurred on the northwest and northeast areas of Fire 7 due to high, gusting winds from the southeast. The fire spread northwest, across Highway 5, near kilometre markers 220-225 (between Preble Creek and Salt Mountain). This resulted in highway closures for the safety of the public due to fire behaviour and thick smoke.

    Highway delays and/or closures are expected to occur again today due to similar forecasted weather conditions as yesterday, with gusting winds from the southeast.

    Fire 7 also grew on the southeast side of Pine Lake Road, towards the Salt River Day Use Area. This day-use area does have facility protection in the event of further spread to the northwest.

    Heavy equipment and fire crews are supporting this operation from the ground.

    There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire at this time. We will continue to provide accurate and timely information to the public and work closely with the neighbouring agencies (GNWT and Alberta Wildfire) to respond to this fire and to protect communities, critical infrastructure, or other values in the area.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to be monitored by fire personnel who have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    This fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor values at risk adjacent to the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 22 degrees with southeast winds 10-15 gusting to 30km/h. This may result in another day of significant growth.

    Good news: Forecasted cloud cover and increased smoke in the atmosphere may help to reduce fire activity late afternoon.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 9, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 141 personnel and 10 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    CLOSURE LIFTED: Highway 5 is now open. Speed reductions are in place. Smoke and flame may be visible, please do not report. The situation is being monitored by ground and by air.

    Follow the direction of on-site traffic flaggers as conditions may change rapidly.

    Follow the GNWT Highway Conditions website for up-to-date traffic conditions: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Background: Last night around 2000h, Fire 7 crossed Highway 5 around kilometer 220. As a result, the highway was closed for the safety of the public due to fire behaviour and thick smoke. Fire personnel continue to work to prevent any further northward spread.

    There is no risk to people or communities at this time.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 3 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Yesterday, significant growth occurred on the northwest finger of Fire 7 as a result of high, gusting winds from the SE. This resulted in an overnight closure of Highway 5. Today, Highway 5 is open with speed reductions and traffic flaggers in place. Please use caution when moving through the area and respect speed reductions.

    Today, fire personnel will continue to work to manage the fire and protect values. Heavy equipment and fire crews are supporting this operation from the ground. Parks Canada is working closely with the neighbouring agencies (GNWT and Alberta Wildfire) to respond to this fire and to protect any infrastructure or other values in the area.

    Further fire growth to the northwest is anticipated due to forecasted winds.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Growth was observed on the northern end of Fire 23 but has not yet crossed the park boundary line. Fire personnel have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 23 degrees with southeast winds 15 to 20 km/h gusting to 40 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase due to hot and dry conditions.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 8, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 141 personnel and 10 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    ALERT: Traffic on Highway 5 may experience temporary delays and/or closures due to planned ignition operations and forecasted fire behavior.

    Location: Highway 5 - Preble Creek to Salt Mountain

    Follow the direction of on-site traffic flaggers as conditions may change rapidly.

    Follow the GNWT Highway Conditions website for up-to-date traffic conditions: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Highway 5 delays/closures are expected to be temporary; plan accordingly.

    Closure Reminders:

    • Pine Lake Road is under an area closure and is closed to all traffic.
    • Numerous area closures are in place due to active wildfires. The closures protect both the public and fire crews, as they give fire personnel the space they need to safely conduct operations. For full area closure descriptions, please visit: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 3 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Fire activity continues to increase on the northwest and northeast fingers of Fire 7. Increased winds and dry conditions may result in some fire growth over the next few days. Successful ignition operations completed along the northeast edge of fire 7 to the old highway dozer line. Fire personnel continue to carry out ignitions with the goal of preventing any further northward spread. Heavy equipment lines and fire crews are supporting this operation from the ground.

    Parks Canada may conduct ignition operations adjacent to Highway 5 today. There may be temporary delays or closures, but we will ensure timely information to the public and work closely with the GNWT Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of all highway traffic.

    For up-to-date highway conditions, visit: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Growth was observed on the northern end of Fire 23 but has not yet crossed the park boundary line. Fire personnel have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 23 degrees with winds gusting from the southeast at 19 km/h, gusting to 35 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase due to hot and dry conditions.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 7, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 141 personnel and 9 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Reminder: Pine Lake Road is under an area closure and is closed to all traffic.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 3 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Fire activity continues to increase on the northwest and northeast fingers of Fire 7. Increased winds and dry conditions may result in some fire growth over the next few days. Fire personnel continue to carry out ignition operations with the goal of preventing any further northward spread. Heavy equipment lines and fire crews are supporting this operation from the ground.

    Parks Canada may conduct ignition operations adjacent to Highway 5 as early as this afternoon. There may be temporary delays or closures, but we will ensure timely information to the public and work closely with the GNWT Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of all highway traffic.

    For up-to-date highway conditions, visit: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Growth was observed on the northern end of Fire 23 but has not yet crossed the park boundary line. Fire personnel have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure.

    The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 21 degrees with winds gusting from the northeast at 9 km/h, gusting to 20 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase due to hot and dry conditions.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 6, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 134 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 4 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Due to increased temperatures and lower humidity over the past few days, fire behaviour has increased on the northeast and northwest fingers of Fire 7. Minimal fire growth was observed today on the northwest area of the fire. Forecasted wind direction today is favourable for planned ignition operations to prevent further northward spread.

    Today, a heavy equipment line will continue to be constructed in the northwest corner of Fire 7 .

    Parks Canada will provide additional updates if ignition operations may impact Highway 5, including any temporary delays or closures. Parks Canada fire management personnel will work closely with the GNWT Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of all highway traffic.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor the fire and action as required.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Growth was observed on the northern flank yesterday towards the park boundary. Fire personnel have been working with the GNWT to ensure that values in the area are assessed. Crews will set up structural protection equipment on nearby values as required.

    The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 25 degrees with winds gusting from the northeast 10-15 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase due to hot and dry conditions.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    Fire Danger: Fire danger is currently extreme in Wood Buffalo National Park. Fire danger is an index that indicates how easily a fire could start, how difficult a fire may be to control, and how much a fire might burn.

     

    Help our firefighters by preventing accidental starts:

    • Park in designated stalls only: Park only on paved surfaces or gravel pull outs; do not park over or on vegetation.
    • Watch for vehicle overheating: When travelling, keep an eye on your vehicle’s temperature and, if needed, take a break to allow the engine to cool down.
    • Avoid any open flame: Lighting or maintaining fires in Wood Buffalo National Park, Alberta land and NWT land is strictly prohibited until further notice.
    • Watch your butts! Fully EXTINGUISH tobacco or cannabis after smoking, discard in designated receptacles, not on the ground.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 5, 2023 @ 10:00 hrs

    There are 107 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    NOTICE TO RESIDENTS AND LAND USERS: Due to grading operations, facilitated access through Pine Lake Road will NOT be possible between Monday, August 7 to Thursday, August 10, 2023. No exceptions.

    A pilot vehicle will facilitate access along Pine Lake Road to Peace Point on Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6th in the mornings. Due to forecasted fire behaviour, late afternoon and evening access will not be possible.

    This offer is for through-access only. There will be NO stopping and NO entry into the Pine Lake Recreational Area or any other facilities in the fire area along the way. Pine Lake Road and the Pine Lake Recreational Area remain under an area closure until further notice. This pilot vehicle offer is temporary and will not be possible again until August 11 (at the earliest).

    Travelers beware that you may encounter fallen trees and extensive areas of burnt forest – and vast fields of beautiful fireweed. Also, wildlife often forages on the high-quality vegetation that emerges after wildfires – be aware that wildlife may be near the road.

    Schedule (Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6):

    07:45 am – Meet at Pine Lake Road, where the closure begins at the Salt River Day Use Area (24km south of Fort Smith).

    A Parks Canada fire team member will pilot vehicles through the closure at 08:00 sharp, headed to Peace Point.

    10:30 am – Meet at the Peace Point/Pine Lake Road junction.

    A Parks Canada fire team member will pilot vehicles back through the closure at 10:45 sharp, headed towards Fort Smith.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    Yesterday, due to increased temperatures and lower humidity, there was an increase in fire behaviour on the northeast and northwest fingers of Fire 7. However, due to the wind direction, there was no significant growth to the existing perimeter.

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 4.5 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Today, a heavy equipment line will continue to be constructed in the northwest area of Fire 7. Ignition operations to limit the spread of fire may also take place. This will be done by burning the area in between the fire and the constructed heavy equipment lines.

    Parks Canada will provide additional updates if ignition operations may impact Highway 5, including any temporary delays or closures. Parks Canada fire management personnel will work closely with the GNWT Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of all highway traffic.

    Structural protection, such as sprinklers, have been installed on infrastructure in the Highway 5 area and crews will maintain them as necessary.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    Fire personnel have now demobilized all firefighting equipment from the area. The removed equipment will be redeployed to other wildfires as required. This fire will be monitored using a remote camera moving forward.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is being monitored using a remote camera. The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 25 degrees with winds gusting from the northwest 20 to 25 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase due to hot and dry conditions, though minimal growth is expected due to wind direction.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 4, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 105 personnel and 9 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Fire updates

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17)

    Yesterday, fire behaviour on the Pine Lake Fires was quieter due to increased smoke and cloud cover.

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 is approximately 4.5 km from Highway 5, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no current risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Today, fire crews will continue to focus suppression efforts on the NE and NW fingers of Fire 7. Ignition operations to limit the spread of fire may begin as early as tomorrow. This will be done by burning the area in between the fire and the constructed heavy equipment lines.

    Parks Canada will provide additional updates if ignition operations may impact Highway 5, including any temporary delays or closures. Parks Canada fire management personnel will work closely with the GNWT Department of Transportation to ensure the safety of all highway traffic.

    Structural protection, such as sprinklers, have been installed on infrastructure in the Highway 5 area and crews will maintain them as necessary.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    Fire personnel continue to monitor fire behaviour and demobilize equipment from this fire. The removed equipment will then be redeployed to other wildfires as required.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is being monitored using a remote camera. The fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last two weeks.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit: Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information websites.

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 24 degrees with low winds gusting from 10 to 15 km/h. Fire behaviour is expected to increase today; however, no significant growth is expected due to the low winds.

    Closures and restrictions

    With the August long weekend on the horizon, we would like to take this time to ensure that visitors and residents are aware of the restrictions and closures currently in place in the park.

    While we understand the inconvenience the prolonged closures pose, it is crucial to ensure the safety of residents, visitors and fire personnel during this busy fire season. We would like to thank the public for their patience, encouragement and support as Parks Canada personnel, the Government of the Northwest Territories and Alberta Wildfire work collaboratively to contain these fires and re-open these areas to the public when safe to do so.

    Information

    As always, you can find detailed information on closures and restrictions on our Important Bulletins page and on the Wood Buffalo National Park Facebook page.

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke to the Fire Duty Officer at 867-621-0136.

    If you see dead or injured bison at any time, please report them to the Wood Buffalo National Park Duty Officer at (867) 872-0404 as soon as possible.

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 3, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 146 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Closures & warnings:

    The Pine Lake Road closure has been adjusted. For an updated map and closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    • The updated closure begins at the Salt River bridge, along the national park boundary line, to Peace Point.
    • It includes the Salt River Day Use Area, all surrounding trails, and the Pine Lake area.
    • It also includes the Salt Plains, which includes the Salt Plains Access Road, Salt Plains Day Use Area, the Whooping Crane roadside pullout, and all surrounding trails.

    Reminder: Area closures are in place due to active wildfires. The closures protect both the public and fire crews, as they give fire personnel the space they need to safely conduct operations. We thank you for your patience and support.

    Fire updates:

    For information on all wildfires within Wood Buffalo National Park, visit: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2, 7, 15 and 17)

    Pine Lake Fires (Fires 2, 7, 15, and 17) Yesterday, significant growth occurred on the northwest and northeast areas of Fire 7 due to high, gusting winds from the southeast. The fire spread northwest, across Highway 5, near kilometre markers 220-225 (between Preble Creek and Salt Mountain). This resulted in highway closures for the safety of the public due to fire behaviour and thick smoke. Highway delays and/or closures are expected to occur again today due to similar forecasted weather conditions as yesterday, with gusting winds from the southeast. Fire 7 also grew on the southeast side of Pine Lake Road, towards the Salt River Day Use Area. This day-use area does have facility protection in the event of further spread to the northwest. Heavy equipment and fire crews are supporting this operation from the ground. There is no immediate risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire at this time. We will continue to provide accurate and timely information to the public and work closely with the neighbouring agencies (GNWT and Alberta Wildfire) to respond to this fire and to protect communities, critical infrastructure, or other values in the area.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    Fire 23 continues to be monitored by fire personnel who have set up structural protection equipment on nearby values and infrastructure. This fire remains approximately 9 km from Highway 5.

    Davidson Lake Fires (Fires 8, 9, 11, 13, 14)

    All equipment has been demobilised from this fire. Crews will continue to monitor values at risk adjacent to the fire and action as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit:

    Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information page

    Fire Information:

    In addition to our website and Facebook page, you can get fire information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, NWT Fire, and the Town of Fort Smith by checking out the fire information boards around town at:

    Weather

    Today temperatures are expected to reach 22 degrees with southeast winds 10-15 gusting to 30km/h. This may result in another day of significant growth. Good news: Forecasted cloud cover and increased smoke in the atmosphere may help to reduce fire activity late afternoon.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 2, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 116 personnel and 8 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    NEW: Closures & warnings:

    The Pine Lake Road closure has been adjusted. For an updated map and closure information, visit Wood Buffalo’s Important Bulletin page.

    • The updated closure begins at the Salt River bridge, along the national park boundary line, to Peace Point.
    • It includes the Salt River Day Use Area, all surrounding trails, and the Pine Lake area.
    • It also includes the Salt Plains, which includes the Salt Plains Access Road, Salt Plains Day Use Area, the Whooping Crane roadside pullout, and all surrounding trails.

    Reminder: area closures are in place due to active wildfires. The closures protect both the public and fire crews, as they give fire personnel the space the need to safely conduct operations. We thank you for your patience and support.

    Fire updates:

    Yesterday, thanks to cooler temperatures and increased visibility later in the afternoon, fire crews were able to get in the air and continue suppression efforts. Today, cooler temps will continue, making for good fire fighting conditions.

    Information on fires within Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Fire crews will continue to focus suppression efforts on the NE finger of fire 7.

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 remains to be approximately 4.5 km from Highway 5 , and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no current risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    As conditions and visibility allow, helicopters will continue bucketing efforts along Fire 7’s northwestern edge. Structure protection using sprinklers have been installed on values in the Highway 5 area and crews will maintain them as necessary.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/9/11/13/14)

    Fire personnel are monitoring this fire using a remote camera. Images are regularly sent to the Incident Management Team each day, which helps to inform them of any changes in fire activity.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire is being monitored using a remote camera. The fire remains approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last two weeks.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) as required.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit:

    Alberta Wildfire or the Northwest Territories fire information page

    Reminder: The Parks Canada fire base and its adjacent airfield are a very active operations base and only authorized personnel are allowed access to these areas. This ensures the safety of fire personnel as well as the public and we thank you in advance for giving us space while we action and manage fires within the park.

    Fire Information:

    In addition to online, you can get fire information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, NWT Fire and the Town of Fort Smith by checking out the fire information boards around town at:

    • Petro/Tim Hortons
    • Community Rec Centre
    • Kaesers grocery store

    You can also visit the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) to get in-person and printout information or call a Fire Information Officer at 867-621-0764.

    Weather

    Forecasts for tomorrow show temperatures reaching around 20 degrees with light winds. Fire behaviour is expected to remain low today due to the cooler temperatures.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alexandria Jones
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-5283

    Fire Information Update – Aug 01, 2023 @ 1000 hrs

    There are 113 personnel and 11 helicopters responding to wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park today.

    Closures & warnings:

    There are several restrictions and area closures in place throughout Wood Buffalo National Park, including two new ones.

    • As of today at 10:00 a.m. MT, the Pine Lake Road closure was revised to begin at the Salt River bridge along the park boundary line and continue to Peace Point. The closure includes Salt River Day-Use Area and all trails in the area as well as the Pine Lake Area.
    • An Area Closure was put in place on July 30 for the Salt Plains area and includes the Salt Plains Access Road, Salt Plains Day Use Area, trails in the area and the Whooping Crane Roadside Pullout. These closures are in place due to wildfires in the area and will give fire personnel the space to safely conduct operations as needed.

    We thank you for your patience as crews continue important work and respond to fires in the area.

    Fire updates:

    Smoky, smoky skies created extremely poor visibility yesterday, which grounded most helicopters for the day. Smoke cover and lower temperatures led to much lower fire behaviour than previous days and there was no significant growth on any fires in the park.

    One crew and one helicopter are continuing to assist NWT Fire with values protection work on fires to the north of Fort Smith.

    Pine Lake Complex (Fires 2/7/15 and 17)

    Yesterday, fire personnel focused on strategic planning for limiting the spread of Fire 7 on its northwestern and northeastern edges.

    The northwestern edge of Fire 7 remains approximately 4.5 km from Highway 5 at this time, and 25 km from Fort Smith. There is no current risk to the Town of Fort Smith or surrounding areas from this wildfire.

    Though poor visibility effected aerial and dozer operations yesterday, crews and designated tree fallers continued work in the Pine Lake area on danger trees and extinguishing hot spots. Some crews were able to assess more values in proximity of Fire 7’s eastern edge and will continue this work today.

    As conditions and visibility allow today, helicopters will resume bucketing efforts along Fire 7’s northwestern edge. Structure protection using sprinklers have been installed on values in the Highway 5 area and crews will maintain them as necessary.

    Davidson Lake Complex (Fires 8/9/11/13/14)

    Fire personnel are continuing to monitor this fire, and as visibility permits today, they’ll return to the area to complete final patrol work and install a remote camera to assist with monitoring.

    Nyarling Fire (Fire 23)

    This fire continues to be monitored, with help from a remote camera installed earlier in the week. The fire remains approximately 10 km from Highway 5 and hasn’t seen any significant growth in the last two weeks.

    Other fires

    Other fires in Wood Buffalo National Park pose no current threat to communities and continue to be monitored by fire personnel. Structure protection will be placed on values at risk (cabins and other infrastructure) in areas as required. Information on fires in Wood Buffalo National Park can be found here: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire.

    Fires outside Wood Buffalo National Park

    For information on nearby fires outside of Wood Buffalo National Park, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-wildfire.aspx or https://www.gov.nt.ca/ecc/en/services/wildfire-update.

    Reminder: The Parks Canada fire base and its adjacent airfield are a very active operations base and only authorized personnel are allowed access to these areas. This ensures the safety of fire personnel as well as the public and we thank you in advance for giving us space while we action and manage fires within the park.

    Fire Information:

    In addition to online, you can get fire information from Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, NWT Fire and the Town of Fort Smith by checking out the fire information boards around town at:

    • Petro/Tim Hortons
    • Community Rec Centre
    • Kaesers grocery store

    You can also visit the Wood Buffalo National Park Visitor Centre (149 McDougal Rd) to get in-person and printout information or call a Fire Information Officer at 867-621-0764.

    Weather

    Forecasts for tomorrow show temperatures reaching around 20 degrees, with 60% relative humidity. Fire behaviour is expected to remain low today, with a possibility for some rain later in the day.

    Smoke forecasts and air quality:

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer – Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

September 2023
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 24, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 24, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

Wildfire activity picked up in the heat of the afternoon on the north and south portions of the wildfire. Smoke plumes were highly visible from town. However, containment lines continue to hold. At this time, there is no increased risk to community.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 503,034 hectares in size. There are currently 190 personnel responding which includes 27 pieces of heavy equipment, 10 helicopters and 82 firefighters and structure protection firefighters.

Minor precipitation is forecasted today and Monday however, afternoon temperatures remain high and wind gusts of up to 40km/h are expected.

High winds significantly increase the risk of falling trees. Land users are asked to exercise extreme caution when in forested areas. Recently burned forests should be avoided. Trees with burnt root systems or trees that are partially burnt can fall easily and without warning.

Closures:
The following closures and no stopping zones remain in place:  

  • Salt River Day-Use Area, Salt Plains Day-Use Area, Pine Lake Campground, Kettle Point Group Camp and ALL trails within Wood Buffalo National Park are closed.
  • Hay Camp Road, Parsons Lake Road (including Salt Plains Access Road) and Kettle Point Road are closed.
  • Foxholes Road and Connie's Road are closed. Thebacha Road is closed to the general public, resident and boat launch user access only at this time.
  • There is a NO STOPPING area on Pine Lake Road from Salt River Bridge (Park boundary) to the junction with Parsons Lake Road.

Area Updates:  

Pine Lake Road: Helicopters and ground based firefighters continue to work on containment lines in this area. Fire may impact access to the Pine Lake Road and the road may close for extended periods without notice.

Thebacha: Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter. The removal of structure protection along Thebacha Road continues.

Reclamation of bell holes is underway. Bell holes are holes that were dug into the ground and used as improvised reservoirs to provide a water source to structure protection sprinklers. Until all bell holes have been filled, please be aware of the hazard they may pose.

Fort Fitzgerald: Fire activity continues along Hay Camp Road. Crews are working with helicopters and heavy equipment to contain any potential spread to the north. Hay Camp Road remains closed.

Reclamation: Rehabilitation of dozer guards continues. Work is ongoing along Parson’s Lake Road and in the Pine Lake Road area and on average, crews are completing 3km a day.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

Chelsey Dawes
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 23, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 23, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 496, 835 hectares in size.

Following a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 146 kilometres in length. 57 percent of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 42 percent is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 99 percent of the northern intolerable perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 223 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 11 helicopters and 100 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

An inversion kept smoke close to the ground yesterday morning, helping to lower fire behaviour for much of the day. Today, hot dry and windy conditions are expected with winds gusting up to 35 km/h. Tomorrow, precipitation is possible beginning in the afternoon.

Work today may be hampered by high winds due to increased risks of falling trees.

Temperatures remain above seasonal levels while conditions remain extremely dry. The drought code has now reached over 1200. The previous record reached in the Fort Smith area was 840. A drought code over 300 is considered extreme.

What is being done:

Pine Lake Road: Yesterday, crews and helicopters worked on the excursion east of Pine Lake Road, minimal growth was observed. Helicopters and ground based firefighters will continue to work on rebuilding containment lines in this area. There is no risk to communities. Fire may impact access to the Pine Lake Road and the road may close for extended periods without notice. There is a NO STOPPING area on Pine Lake Road from Salt River Bridge (Park boundary) to the junction with Parsons Lake Road

Thebacha: Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter. The removal of structure protection along Thebacha Road is almost complete and power has been restored.

The Thebacha Road remains closed to the general public, however residents and boat launch users have access.

Some residents may notice bell holes on their properties – these are holes dug into the ground used as improvised reservoirs to provide a water source to the structure protection sprinklers. Crews will be reclaiming these over the coming days. Until they have been filled in, please be aware of the hazard they may pose.

Fort Fitzgerald: While the threat to the community remains low, yesterday’s high winds were favourable for the fire to become established south of the dozer guard. Fire activity continues along Hay Camp Road and crews are working with helicopters and heavy equipment to contain any potential for spread to the north. Hay Camp Road remains closed.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An evacuation alert remains in place.

Safety

Continued high winds are significantly increasing the risk of falling trees. Land users are asked to exercise extreme caution when in forested areas. Recently burned forests should be avoided.

Trees with burnt root systems or trees that are partially burnt can fall easily and without warning, especially in windy conditions. They pose a significant risk of serious or fatal injury. With the high drought codes even unburned trees may be unstable.

Reclamation: Crews are working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. On average, crews are completing 3km a day of reclamation work. Work is ongoing along Parson’s Lake Road and in the Pine Lake Road area.

Closures

  • Salt River Day-Use Area, Salt Plains Day-Use Area, Pine Lake Campground, Kettle Point Group Camp and ALL trails within Wood Buffalo National Park are closed.
  • Hay Camp Road, Parsons Lake Road (including Salt Plains Access Road) and Kettle Point Road are closed.
  • Foxholes Road and Connie's Road are closed. Thebacha Road is closed to the general public, resident and boat launch user access only at this time.
  • There is a NO STOPPING area on Pine Lake Road from Salt River Bridge (Park boundary) to the junction with Parsons Lake Road.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

Chelsey Dawes
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 22, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 22, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 489,064 hectares in size.

Following a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 149 kilometres in length. 57 percent of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 42 percent is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 99 percent of the northern intolerable perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 216 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 12 helicopters and 109 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Crews observed more vigorous fire activity due to high winds gusting up to 55 km/h. Winds remained high throughout the evening and are expected to continue throughout today and tomorrow.

Temperatures today are forecast to reach near-record highs of 25 degrees Celsius (the previous record high is 26.6C) Relative humidity is expected to drop just below 30 percent. South-southeasterly winds are expected to be 15 km/h, with gusts of up to 35 km/h.

Work today may be hampered by high winds due to increased risks of falling trees. High winds may also impact aerial operations.

Temperatures remain above seasonal levels while conditions remain extremely dry. The drought code has now reached over 1200. The previous record reached in the Fort Smith area was 840. A drought code over 300 is considered extreme.

What is being done:

Pine Lake Road: Yesterday, driven by high winds, the fire challenged and slopped over a small section of containment line just east of the Pine Lake Road. Crews supported by medium helicopters are working to suppress this slop-over. There is no risk to communities. Winds today may push this small finger of fire into a previously burned area, which would significantly shorten the fire perimeter. Fire in this area may impact access to the Pine Lake Road. The road may close for extended periods without notice.

Thebacha: Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter. Crews finished removing structure protection in Bell Rock yesterday. Today they will continue to remove structure protection along the Thebacha Road. Power Corp is working closely with structure protection firefighters to ensure the safe reconnection of power to homes.

The Thebacha Road is closed to the general public, however residents and boat launch users have access. Structure protection demobilization will continue after public access has been restored to the area – if residents are returning, please be mindful of crews working in the area.

Some residents may notice bell holes on their properties – these are holes dug into the ground used as improvised reservoirs to provide a water source to the structure protection sprinklers. Crews will be reclaiming these over the coming days. Until they have been filled in, please be aware of the hazard they may pose.

Fort Fitzgerald: While the threat to the community remains low, yesterday’s high winds were favourable for the fire to become established south of the dozer guard. Fire activity continues along the Hay Camp Road and crews are working with helicopters and heavy equipment to contain any potential for spread to the north.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An evacuation alert remains in place.

Hwy 5: Highway 5 is open to the public. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.

Safety

Continued high winds are significantly increasing the risk of falling trees. Land users are asked to exercise extreme caution if they are in forested areas. Recently burned forests should be avoided.

Trees with burnt root systems or trees that are partially burnt can fall easily and without warning, especially in windy conditions. They pose a significant risk of serious or fatal injury. With the high drought codes even unburned trees may be unstable.

Reclamation: Crews are working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. On average, crews are completing 3km a day of reclamation work. Work is ongoing along Parson’s Lake Road and in the Pine Lake Road area.

Closures

  • The Thebacha Road is closed to the general public. Residents and boat launch users have access.
  • Hay Camp Road is closed.
  • Pine Lake Campground is closed.
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road are closed.
  • Parsons Lake Road and Salt Plains Access Road are closed.
  • There is a NO STOPPING area on Pine Lake Road from Salt River Bridge (Park boundary) to the junction with Parsons Lake Road.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 21, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 21, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 489,064 hectares in size.

Following a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 149 kilometres in length. 57 percent of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 42 percent is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 99 percent of the northern intolerable perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 216 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 12 helicopters and 109 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Today, temperatures are forecast at 20 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity at 30 percent. Winds are expected to be 25 km/h, with gusts of up to 40-55 km/h.

Work today may be hampered by high winds due to increased risks of falling trees. High winds may also impact aerial operations.

Temperatures remain 5 degrees above seasonal levels and are expected to rise over the coming days.

Conditions remain extremely dry. The drought code has now reached over 1200. The previous record reached in the Fort Smith area was 840. A drought code over 300 is considered extreme.

What is being done:

Thebacha: Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter. Crews continue to remove structure protection west of Bell Rock up to the Thebacha Road. Removal of the structure protection is the first step in preparing the area for access to the general public. The Power Core is working closely with structure protection firefighters to ensure the safe reconnection of power to homes.

The Thebacha Road remains closed to the general public, however residents and boat launch users will have access starting at 4:00 p.m. today. Structure protection demobilization will continue after public access has been restored to the area – if residents are returning, please be mindful of crews working in the area.

Some residents may notice bell holes on their properties – these are holes dug into the ground used as improvised reservoirs to provide a water source to the structure protection sprinklers. Crews will be reclaiming these over the coming days. Until they have been filled in, please be aware of the hazard they may pose.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews and heavy equipment are working east from the Hay Camp Road along the dozer guard to extinguish hotspots in this area. The fire has burned deeply into the ground here and this work is anticipated to take some time.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed on a regular basis to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An evacuation alert remains in place.

Hwy 5: Highway 5 is open to the public. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.

Safety

Today’s high winds will significantly increase the risk of falling trees. Land users are asked to exercise extreme caution if they are in forested areas. Recently burned forests should be avoided.

Trees with burnt root systems or trees that are partially burnt can fall easily and without warning, especially in windy conditions. They pose a significant risk of serious or fatal injury. With the high drought codes even unburned trees may be unstable.

Reclamation: Crews are working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. On average, crews are completing 3km a day of reclamation work. Work is ongoing along Parson’s Lake Road and in the Pine Lake Road area.

Closures

  • The Thebacha Road remains closed to the general public. Residents and boat launch users will have access starting at 4:00 p.m. today.
  • Pine Lake Day Use Area remains closed.
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road remain closed.
  • Hay Camp Road remains closed

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 20, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 20, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 488,900 hectares in size.

Following a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 149 kilometres in length. 57km of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 42km is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 99 percent of the northern intolerable perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 235 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 12 helicopters and 117 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Members of the Unified Command Team will be at the Town of Fort Smith's Welcome Centre located in the recreation and community centre, to answer questions about the incident.

Conditions:

Today, temperatures will cool slightly with a high forecast at 16 degrees Celsius and relative humidity at 35 percent. Winds from the north with gusts of up to 35 km/h are expected to remain for the next few days. Temperatures remain 5 degrees above seasonal.

No precipitation is forecast. Conditions remain extremely dry. The drought code has now reached over 1200. The previous record reached in the Fort Smith area was 840. A drought code over 300 is considered extreme.

What is being done:

Helicopters were able to resume operations and assisted firefighters with suppression via bucketing and transported crews to more remote areas of the fire line.

Thebacha: Crews continued ignition operations at the northeast perimeter of Slave River, to further shore up control lines in the area to help prevent the fire from spreading east into the community. Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter.

Crews will begin to remove structure protection west of Bell Rock to Thebacha Road. Removal of the structure protection is the first step in preparing the area for residents to return to their homes.

Fort Fitzgerald: Helicopters were able to resume operations and assisted firefighters with suppression via bucketing southeast of Fort Fitzgerald, where vigorous fire activity was observed. Crews and heavy equipment are working east from the Hay Camp Road along the dozer guard to extinguish hotspots in this area. The fire has burned deeply into the ground here and this work is anticipated to take some time.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed on a regular basis to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An Evacuation alert remains in place. For updates on the Town's re-entry plan, visit https://fortsmith.ca/re-entry-updates

Hwy 5: Highway 5 is open to the public. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.

Reclamation: Crews are working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. On average, crews are completing 3km a day of reclamation work. Current work includes approximately 20km of fireguard along Parson’s Lake Road. Work is also ongoing on fireguards built adjacent to the highway south of Fort Smith and north of Fort Fitzgerald.

Closures

  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point has reopened with a speed reduction due to potential for unmarked hazards, possible debris on the road and crews working. The road may close without notice due to smoke or fire conditions anyone travelling the road should be prepared for delays.
  • Pine Lake Day Use Area remains closed.
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road and Thebacha Road remain closed.
  • Hay Camp Road remains closed

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 19, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 19, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

As residents of Fort Smith continue to return to their homes, members of the Unified Command Team will be available to answer questions about the incident at the Town of Fort Smith's Welcome Centre located in the recreation and community centre. Over the past five weeks, several hundred people have worked towards this goal, and it is wonderful to see the community start to bustle again.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 488,568 hectares in size.

Following a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 149 kilometres in length. 77km of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 61km is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 93 percent of the northern intolerable perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 241 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 28 pieces of heavy equipment, 14 helicopters and 120 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Work yesterday was again limited to areas accessible by ground. A minimal amount of rain passed over the area, mainly east of Fort Smith, this helped suppress fire behaviour for the afternoon very slightly.

Today, temperatures are expected to break just below the 20 degrees Celsius mark at a high of 19 with a relative humidity of 35 percent. Southwesterly winds are forecast to continue at 15 km/h, gusting to 25 km/h

Daily highs remain higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Thebacha: Crews completed ignition operations to anchor the northeast perimeter of the fire into the Slave River. This shores up control lines in the area to help prevent the fire from spreading east into the community. Crews continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter. Structure protection remains in place along the Thebacha Road until complete. Closures for all three roads are being implemented and we ask that you please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Poor flying conditions meant that work was limited to areas accessible by ground. Firefighters worked in areas accessible by ground to suppress active fire south of Fort Fitzgerald. Crews and heavy equipment are working east from the Hay Camp Road along the dozer guard to extinguish hotspots in this area. The fire has burned deeply into the ground here and this work is anticipated to take some time.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed on a regular basis to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An Evacuation alert remains in place. For updates on the Town's re-entry plan, visit https://fortsmith.ca/re-entry-updates

Hwy 5: Highway 5 is open to the public. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.

Reclamation: Crews are working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. So far, approximately 8km has been completed along the Parson’s Lake Road and work will continue along the remaining 20 kilometres of the fireguard. Reclamation work on fireguards built adjacent to the highway is also ongoing south of Fort Smith and north of Fort Fitzgerald.

Closures

  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point has reopened with a speed reduction due to potential for unmarked hazards, possible debris on the road and crews working. The road may close without notice due to smoke or fire conditions anyone travelling the road should be prepared for delays.
  • Pine Lake Day Use Area remains closed
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road and Thebacha Road remain closed due to active wildfire operations.
  • Hay Camp Road remains closed

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 18, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 18, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Unified Command Team would like to welcome the residents of Fort Smith back to their community. Over the past five weeks, several hundred people have worked towards this goal and we look forward to seeing you in the community again.

Members of the Unified Command Team will be available to answer any of your questions about the incident at the Town of Fort Smith's Welcome Centre located in the recreation and community centre.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 488,300 hectares in size.

The northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable is mapped at 146 kilometres in length. 78km of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 39km is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 92 percent of the northern perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 269 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 14 helicopters and 139 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Warm, dry and windy conditions are forecast to continue today, bringing with them potential for increased fire activity.

Today’s high is forecast to be 22 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 25-30 percent. Southwesterly winds are forecast at 15 km/h, gusting to 25-30 km/h. There is a chance of isolated showers this afternoon into the evening however only very minimal precipitation is anticipated.

A modest cooling trend is in the forecast for mid-week, however the warmer temperatures are expected to return by Thursday and continue into the weekend. Daily highs remain approximately 7 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Yesterday a member of the public entered the closed area along Foxholes Road while ignition operations were taking place. Unauthorized access to areas where active firefighting operations are occurring can put your life at risk. We know that many people are curious about the status of the fire but it is imperative to respect the closures that are in place for your safety and the safety of firefighters.

Thebacha: Crews conducted a small-scale ignition to help tie the northern perimeter of the fire into the Slave River. This will shore up control lines in the area and help prevent the fire from spreading west along the river Crews continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road. Structure protection remains in place along the Thebacha Road. Closures for all three roads are being implemented and we ask that you please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Firefighters worked to suppress active fire south of Fort Fitzgerald. Poor flying conditions meant that work was limited to areas accessible by ground. Crews and heavy equipment are working east from the Hay Camp Road along the dozer guard to extinguish hotspots in this area. The fire has burned deeply into the ground here and this work is anticipated to take some time.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed on a regular basis to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots.

Fort Smith: The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted, effective at 8:00 AM this morning. An Evacuation alert remains in place. For updates on the Town's re-entry plan, visit https://fortsmith.ca/re-entry-updates

Hwy 5: Highway 5 has opened to the public as of 6 a.m. this morning to align with the Town of Fort Smith’s re-entry plan. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.

Reclamation: Crews have begun working to rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community. Yesterday, a 5km-stretch along the Parson’s Lake Road was completed and work will continue along the remaining 20 kilometres of the guard.

Closures

  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point has reopened with a speed reduction due to potential for unmarked hazards, possible debris on the road and crews working. The road may close without notice due to smoke or fire conditions anyone travelling the road should be prepared for delays.
  • Pine Lake Day Use Area remains closed
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road and Thebacha Road remain closed due to active wildfire operations.
  • Hay Camp Road remains closed

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 17, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 17, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 488,300 hectares in size.

The northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable is mapped at 146 kilometres in length. 78km of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 39km is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 92 percent of the northern perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 269 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 30 pieces of heavy equipment, 14 helicopters and 139 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Warm, dry and windy conditions are forecast to continue today, bringing with them potential for increased fire activity. Today’s high is forecast to be 25 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of around 25 percent. South winds are forecast to be 10 km/h, gusting to 30 km/h

A modest cooling trend is in the forecast for mid-week, with warmer temperatures returning by the weekend. Daily highs remain approximately 9 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Crews observed increased fire activity yesterday and a new dozer guard was put in place to help contain the new fire perimeter along Foxholes Road. Work is continuing to extinguish hot spots along the fire perimeter and reinforce control lines. Firefighters will be looking for ignition opportunities to secure the northern fire perimeter closest to Thebacha to the river.

Thebacha: Crews patrolled the fire perimeter in this area and extinguished hot spots. Active firefighting operations are ongoing in the Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road area. Structure protection remains in place along the Thebacha Road. Closures for all three roads are being implemented and we ask that you please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Firefighters worked to suppress active fire south of Fort Fitzgerald. Helicopters were able to assist with suppression via bucketing and deployment to more remote areas of the fire line. Crews and heavy equipment will begin working east from the Hay Camp Road along the dozer guard to extinguish hotspots in this area. The fire has burned deeply into the ground here and this work is anticipated to take some time.

Fort Smith: As members of the community return, we understand that people are curious about wildfire operations however to ensure the safety of our crews and the public, it is imperative to respect all fire-related closures.

Hwy 5: The fire perimeter along Highway 5 is now considered controlled and crews are demobilizing equipment. Highway 5 will reopen to the public as of 6 a.m. Monday to align with the lifting of the Town of Fort Smith’s evacuation order. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where crews are present in order ensure firefighters’ safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass. The RCMP are assisting with increased speed enforcement to ensure crew safety.

Reclamation: Crews have begun to reclaim and rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community, starting with the guard constructed along the Parson’s Lake Road.

Infrared Scans: Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed on a regular basis to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. Crews working areas throughout the fire continue to observe 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires excavation by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Closures

  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point has reopened with a speed reduction due to potential for unmarked hazards, possible debris on the road and crews working. The road may close without notice due to smoke or fire conditions anyone travelling the road should be prepared for delays.
  • Pine Lake Day Use Area remains closed
  • Connie’s Road, Foxholes Road and Thebacha Road remain closed due to active wildfire operations.
  • Hay Camp Road remains closed

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 16, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 16, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 486,490 hectares in size.

The northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 146 kilometres in length. 60 km of this fire perimeter is now considered controlled, and 71 km is considered contained. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 90 percent of the northern perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 242 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 32 pieces of heavy equipment, 14 helicopters and 134 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Warm, dry and windy conditions are forecast to continue over the next two days, bringing with them potential for increased fire activity.

Today’s high is expected to reach in the low 20 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of around 30 percent. Southwesterly winds are forecast to be 15 km/h, gusting to 30 km/h

Although we’re seeing cooler weather overnight, temperatures remain approximately 8 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Crews observed more vigorous activity with the return of drier hot weather. Work is continuing to extinguish hot spots along the fire perimeter and reinforce control lines.

Firefighters are making good progress, but more time is needed before the communities west of Fort Smith will be ready for residents to return.

Thebacha: Crews patrolled the fire perimeter in this area and extinguished hot spots. Active firefighting operations are ongoing in the Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road area. Structure protection is in place along the Thebacha Road. Closures for all three roads are being implemented and we ask that you please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews worked along the perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald to extinguish hotspots. With improved flying conditions, helicopters were able to resume operations and assisted firefighters with suppression via bucketing and deployment to more remote areas of the fire line. Work will continue to secure the perimeter south and west of the community.

Fort Smith: As members of the community return, we understand that people are curious about wildfire operations however to ensure the safety of our crews and the public, it is imperative to respect all fire-related closures.

Hwy 5: The fire perimeter along Highway 5 is now considered controlled and crews are demobilizing equipment. As members of the community return, please be aware of crews working along the road – please slow down and give them space to work as you pass. A speed reduction to 50 km/h has been implemented along Highway 5 between Salt River and Fort Smith to help ensure firefighters’ safety. The RCMP are assisting with increased speed enforcement to ensure crew safety.

Reclamation: Crews are beginning to reclaim and rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community.

A reclamation specialist is making plans for the reclamation of dozer guards within Wood Buffalo National Park, beginning with the guard constructed along the Parson’s Lake Road.

Infrared Scans: Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Closures

  • Highway 5 is currently closed to the public from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Essential workers returning by vehicle will be allowed through the closure checkpoint provided conditions are safe for travel. For more information on highway closures, visit https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area. It is anticipated the road will re-open in the coming days with speed reductions.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 15, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 15, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 485,686* hectares in size.

After a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 146 kilometres in length. Significant progress has been made on securing this section of the fire. 60 km of the northern fire perimeter is now considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire.

71 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

Together, 90 percent of the northern perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.

There are currently 229 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 34 pieces of heavy equipment, 15 helicopters and 111 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

Warm, dry and windy conditions are forecast to return to the Fort Smith area over the next three days, bringing with them a potential for increased fire activity.

Today’s high is expected to reach mid 20 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of around 25 percent. Southwesterly winds are forecast to be 15 km/h. gusting to 35 km/h

Although we’re seeing cooler weather overnight, temperatures remain approximately 5 – 10 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Crews took advantage of yesterday’s cool, humid weather to make progress on extinguishing hotspots along the fire perimeter. Firefighters are making good progress, but more time is needed before the communities surrounding Fort Smith will be ready for residents to return.

Thebacha: Crews patrolled the fire perimeter in this area and extinguished hot spots. As some residents return to their communities, it is imperative that members of the public avoid fire operations in the Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road area. Closures for both roads are being implemented and we ask that you please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews worked along the perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald to extinguish hotspots. Poor flying conditions meant that work was limited to areas accessible by ground. Work will continue to secure the perimeter south and west of the community.

Hwy 5: The fire perimeter along Highway 5 is now considered controlled, and crews are beginning to demobilize equipment. As members of the community return, please be aware of crews working along the road – please slow down and give them space to work as you pass. A speed reduction to 60 km/h will be implemented along Highway 5 between Salt River and Fort Smith to help ensure firefighters’ safety. The RCMP are assisting with increased speed enforcement to ensure crew safety.

Reclamation: Crews are beginning to reclaim and rehabilitate dozer guards that are no longer needed to protect homes and the community.

A reclamation specialist is making plans for the reclamation of dozer guards within Wood Buffalo National Park, beginning with the guard constructed along the Parson’s Lake Road.

Infrared Scans: Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Closures

  • Highway 5 is currently closed to the public from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Essential workers returning by vehicle will be allowed through the closure checkpoint as long as conditions are safe for travel. For more information on highway closures, visit https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highways
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 14, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 14, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 485,670* hectares in size.

* When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change. For up-to-date estimated distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

As of yesterday, 21 km of the northern fire perimeter is considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. 93 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

There are currently 320 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 43 pieces of heavy equipment, 15 helicopters and 119 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

The Fort Smith area continues to be unseasonably warm and dry. Yesterday’s continued heavy smoke in the area significantly impacted helicopter operations for a second day. Ground-based firefighting operations were not affected. The smoke led to lower temperatures and higher relative humidity than forecast which helped to suppress fire behaviour. The area received scattered showers overnight, with an accumulation between .3 and 2.5 ml, which will help suppress fire behaviour today. However, due to historic levels of drought the fire status will remain unchanged until significant precipitation is received.

Today’s high is expected to reach 19 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 50 percent. Northwesterly winds are expected with gusts up to 40 km/h shifting to Southwesterly with winds at 10-15 km/h.

Hot, dry and windy conditions are expected to return Friday and Saturday, potentially leading to increased fire behaviour. Temperatures remain approximately 5 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average.

What is being done:

Based on the continued hard work of fire crews, the Incident Management Team was able to recommend that Smith’s Landing First Nation begin preparing for the return of Bordertown residents. These preparations will begin with the removal of structure protection equipment in the community. For information on re-entry plans for residents in Bordertown, contact Smith’s Landing First Nation.

While the risk to some communities continues to decrease because of firefighting efforts, threats in surrounding areas remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the fire perimeter in these areas is controlled.

Thebacha: Crews patrolled the fire perimeter in this area and extinguished hot spots. Fire management personnel continue to assess opportunities to use ignition to help make the fire perimeter easier to control in this area. The perimeter in much of Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road area remains contained due to the significant ongoing active firefighting efforts of crews. As some residents return to their communities, it is imperative that members of the public avoid these areas. Please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews worked along the perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald to extinguish hotspots. Poor flying conditions meant that work was limited to areas accessible by ground. Work will continue to secure the perimeter south and west of the community.

Hwy 5: Firefighters continue to patrol the eastern portion of the fire perimeter along Highway 5 for any remaining hot spots. As members of the community return, please be aware of crews working along the road – please slow down and give them space to work as you pass. A speed reduction to 60 km/h will be implemented along Highway 5 between Salt River and Fort Smith to help ensure firefighters’ safety. The RCMP are assisting with increased speed enforcement to ensure crew safety.

Fort Smith: Crews patrolled the perimeter south of Fort Smith closest to the community to ensure it remains controlled. Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Questions & Answers:

Q. What is happening with re-entry?

A. The Town of Fort Swift continues to work toward lifting the evacuation order with essential service workers returning before the general public. Information on the Town’s re-entry plans may be found at: https://fortsmith.ca/evacuation-updates

Pre-registration is ongoing for re-entry flights for evacuees from Fort Smith, Hay River and Kʼatlodeeche First Nation. Residents from these locations can pre-register until 8:00PM on Thursday, September 14.

Information on pre-registration can be found here: htps://www.gov.nt.ca/en/public-safety/re-entry-flights-hay-river-katlodeeche-first-nation-and-fort-smith.

We are working with communities to plan for their re-entry but are not yet able to provide a firm date.

Reminder: The Town of Fort Smith continues to be under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you are not an essential worked, please do not return until re-entry for the general public has been announced.

For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

Q. I have returned to Fort Smith as an essential worker and want to travel down Pine Lake/Foxholes/Connie’s Road or to Bell Rock. Can I?

A. As members of the community return to the area, we have received requests to travel down currently closed roads. While we understand that residents may wish to check in on their cabins or are curious about how the landscape has changed, we are asking members of the public to obey all closures.

Active fire operations are taking place, particularly along Foxholes Road and Connie’s Road and in multiple locations along the Pine Lake Road. Fire crews are working hard to re-open public access to these areas and will continue to require space to work safely.

Important safety information: Areas without active operations that have previously burned remain unsafe. Extreme drought conditions in the Fort Smith area have led to the wildfire burning deeply into the ground. Ash pits 2-3 feet deep are common throughout the fire area. These ash pits are difficult to see and can cause severe burns and injuries.

Trees with burnt root systems or trees that are partially burnt can fall easily and without warning, especially in windy conditions. They pose a significant risk of serious or fatal injury. Even unburned trees may be unstable due to the extreme drought in the area.

Closures:

  • Highway 5 is currently closed to the public from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Essential workers returning by vehicle will be allowed through the closure checkpoint as long as conditions are safe for travel. For more information on highway closures, visit https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highway
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 13, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 13, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 485,159* hectares in size.

* When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change. For up-to-date estimated distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

As of yesterday, 21 km of the northern fire perimeter is considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. 93 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

There are currently 320 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 37 pieces of heavy equipment, 17 helicopters and 177 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

The Fort Smith area continues to be unseasonably warm and dry. Temperatures are approximately 7 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average. Yesterday, heavy smoke in the area significantly impacted helicopter operations. The smoke led to lower temperatures and higher relative humidity than forecast and helped to suppress fire behaviour.

Today, similar smoky conditions are expected with temperatures in the mid 20 degrees Celsius and a relative humidity of 35 percent. Light winds from the South are expected to increase by late evening with gusts of up to 30 km/h. Light showers are possible overnight.

The drought code remains over 1,100 and will remain at extreme levels until significant precipitation is received.

What is being done:

Aerial operations were significantly impacted yesterday due to smoky conditions. As a result, crews used ground patrols to monitor the fire perimeter and worked to extinguish hot spots.

Thebacha: Crews patrolled the fire perimeter in this area and extinguished hot spots. The perimeter in much of Connie’s Road and Foxholes road area is considered contained due to the significant ongoing active firefighting efforts of crews. As residents of Fort Smith return to the community it is imperative that members of the public avoid this area. Please give our crews the space they need to work safely.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews worked along the perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald to extinguish hotspots. Poor flying conditions meant that work was limited to areas accessible by ground. Work will continue to secure the perimeter south and west of the community.

Hwy 5: Firefighters continue to patrol the eastern portion of the fire perimeter along Highway 5 for any remaining hot spots. As members of the community return, please be aware of crews working along the road – please slow down and give them space to work as you pass. The RCMP are assisting with increased speed enforcement to ensure crew safety.

Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: Crews patrolled the perimeter south of Fort Smith closest to the community to ensure it remains controlled.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Do not fly drones near wildfires

Yesterday fire management personnel received a report of a recreational drone flying within the wildfire NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) area.

As community members return to the area, we understand that people may be curious about the changes to the landscape. However, flying drones (including those below 249 grams) above an active wildfire area is illegal and dangerous.

Flying drones over a wildfire endangers firefighting personnel and may cause firefighting operations to stop. Illegally flying a drone could result in fines of up to $15,000.

Question: What is happening with re-entry?

As the Town of Fort Swift have begun the steps needed to lift the evacuation order with essential service workers returning before the general public. Information on the Town’s re-entry plans may be found here: https://fortsmith.ca/re-entry-updates

The Government of the Northwest Territories has begun pre-registration for re-entry flights for residents of Fort Smith. Pre-registration for re-entry flights is now available for evacuees from Hay River, Kʼatlodeeche First Nation and Fort Smith. Evacuees from these locations can pre-register until 8:00PM on Thursday, September 14.

Information on pre-registration can be found here:

https://www.gov.nt.ca/en/public-safety/re-entry-flights-hay-river-katlodeeche-first-nation-and-fort-smith

While the risk to Fort Smith has been reduced, there is still more work needed to secure the fire perimeter close to Thebacha, Bell Rock, Bordertown and Fort Fitzgerald before residents of those communities can return. Crews continue to work hard on suppressing the fire in these areas and are making good progress.

We are working with communities to plan for their re-entry but are not yet able to provide a firm date.

Reminder: The Town of Fort Smith continues to be under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you are not an essential worked, please do not return until re-entry for the general public has been announced.

For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

Closures:

  • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo National Park
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 12, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 12, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 485,159* hectares in size.

* When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change. For up-to-date estimated distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

As of yesterday, 22 km of the northern fire perimeter is considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. 93 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

There are currently 326 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 43 pieces of heavy equipment, 17 helicopters and 177 firefighters and structure protection firefighters. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

The Fort Smith area continues to be very dry which contributes to challenging firefighting conditions. Today, unseasonably warm, dry and windy weather continues, creating conditions favourable for fire spread. Yesterday, crews observed vigorous fire behaviour along the fire line and similar levels of fire activity are expected again today.

The high today is anticipated to be in the high 20 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity near 20 percent. Winds will be South with gusts of up to 25 km/h.

Tomorrow, a small downtrend in the weather is forecast, bringing cooler temperatures, higher relative humidities and a chance of light showers.

The drought code remains over 1,100 and will remain at extreme levels until significant precipitation is received.

What is being done:

Weather conditions yesterday led to increased levels of fire activity and crews backed up by helicopter bucketing spent the day suppressing hot spots and flare ups.

Thebacha: Fire personnel used aerial and ignition to help remove forest fuels along the fire perimeter near Foxholes Road making it easier for crews to extinguish. Structure protection in place on cabins along the road was operated during ignition operations. Crews will continue to assess ignition opportunities along the fire perimeter in order to assist with suppression and control. Crews also worked along the road to suppress hotspots.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews supported by heavy helicopters suppressed hot spots along the fire perimeter nearest to Fort Fitzgerald. The perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald is considered contained. Crews continue to work on securing the perimeter south and west of the community.

Hwy 5: Yesterday, some increased fire activity was observed due to the weather conditions. Crews suppressed this activity backed up by helicopter bucketing. Firefighters will continue to patrol the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots.

Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: Crews patrolled the perimeter south of Fort Smith closest to the community to ensure it remains controlled.

Heat-sensing scans continue to be completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts by assisting firefighters with travel and suppression via bucketing in more remote areas of the fire line.

Question: What is happening with re-entry?

Based on the hard work of crews and the reduced risk to the Town of Fort Smith, the Incident Management Team was able to recommend to Town officials that they can begin the steps needed to lift the evacuation order and return residents to their homes. This will begin today with essential service workers returning before the general public.

Details on re-entry can be found here: https://fortsmith.ca/evacuation-updates

While the risk to Fort Smith has been reduced, there is still more work needed to secure the fire perimeter close to Thebacha, Bell Rock, Bordertown and Fort Fitzgerald before residents of those communities can return. Crews continue to work hard on suppressing the fire in these areas and are making good progress.

We are working with communities to plan for their re-entry but are not yet able to provide a firm date.

Reminder: The Town of Fort Smith continues to be under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you are not an essential worked, please do not return until re-entry for the general public has been announced.

For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

Closures:

  • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

For more information on wildfires, visit:

  • Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates: https://parks.canada.ca/wbnp-fire
  • Northwest Territories fire information: https://www.alberta.ca/wildfire-status
  • Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard: https://www.arcgis.com/.../3ffcc2d0ef3e4e0999b0cf8b636defa3
  • For up-to-date road conditions, visit the NWT Highway Conditions website: https://www.dot.gov.nt.ca/Highway

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo National Park
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 11, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 11, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 475,732* hectares in size.

* When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

As of yesterday, 22 km of the northern fire perimeter is considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. 80 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

There are currently 358 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 59 pieces of heavy equipment, 18 helicopters and 185 firefighters and structure protection specialists. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

The Fort Smith area continues to be very dry which contributes to challenging firefighting conditions. Today, unseasonably warm, dry and windy weather continues, creating conditions favourable for fire spread. Yesterday, crews observed increased fire behaviour along the fire line and similar levels of fire activity are expected again today.

The high today is anticipated to be in the high 20 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity near 20 percent. Winds will be out of the South with gusts of up to 40 km/h. Winds are expected to ease and become light overnight.

The drought code remains over 1,100. The previously highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840.

What is being done:

Structure protection specialists have completed removal of high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in the Town of Fort Smith. While the threat to Fort Smith continues to decrease because of firefighting efforts along the main perimeter to the south, threats to surrounding communities remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the threat lowers.

Thebacha: Fire personnel used aerial ignition to help remove forest fuels along the fire perimeter near Foxholes Road making it easier for crews to extinguish. Structure protection in place on cabins along the road was operated during ignition operations. Crews will continue to assess ignition opportunities along the fire perimeter in order to assist with suppression and control.

Fort Fitzgerald: Crews supported by heavy helicopters suppressed hot spots along the fire perimeter nearest to Fort Fitzgerald. The perimeter closest to Fort Fitzgerald is considered contained. Crews continue to work on securing the perimeter south and west of the community.

Hwy 5: Yesterday, some increased fire activity was observed due to the weather conditions. Crews suppressed this activity backed up by helicopter bucketing. Firefighters will continue to patrol the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots.

Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: The perimeter south of Fort Smith closest to the community is now considered controlled. Crews will patrol this area using sight, smell and touch to ensure no hot spots remain.

Heat-sensing scans are being completed nightly to help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts by assisting firefighters with travel and suppression via bucketing in more remote areas of the fire line.

Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

We know you’re anxious to get back home and we’re working with the Town of Fort Smith in doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Structure protection demobilization in the Town of Fort Smith has been completed. The Incident Command Team will brief municipal emergency management officials to help inform the Town’s decisions on re-entry. While the threat to Fort Smith continues to reduce thanks to the hard work of firefighters, and we’re getting closer, we aren’t at the point where it’s safe for all public to return yet. Until essential services are re-established, the community can not support re-entry and an anticipated re-entry date for all public to return is yet to be determined.

For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

Messages from your communities:

The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald continue to be under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

Closures:

  • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

Additional wildfire information

All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

For further information, contact:

James Eastham
Fire Information Officer
Wood Buffalo National Park
wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
403-497-4839

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 10, 2023

Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 10, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 473,826* hectares in size.

* When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

As of yesterday, 14 percent (22 km) of the northern fire perimeter is considered controlled. A controlled fire perimeter is the portion of fire perimeter that has received sufficient suppression action to ensure no further spread of fire. 58 percent (85 km) of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions.

There are currently 358 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 59 pieces of heavy equipment, 18 helicopters and 185 firefighters and structure protection specialists. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

Conditions:

The Fort Smith area continues to be very dry which contributes to challenging firefighting conditions. Today, a powerful upper ridge will bring unseasonably warm, dry and windy weather to the area for the next several days, which may create conditions favourable for fire spread.

The high today is anticipated to be in the high 20 degrees Celsius with a relative humidity near 20 percent. Winds will be out of the South with gusts of up to 35 km/h

The drought code remains over 1,100. The previously highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840.

What is being done:

Structure protection specialists continue to strategically remove high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in the Town of Fort Smith. While the threat to Fort Smith has decreased because of firefighting efforts along the main perimeter to the south, threats to surrounding communities remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the threat lowers.

Thebacha: Fire personnel successfully conducted a small, low intensity-controlled burn-off of approximately 4 hectares tying the fire perimeter into existing dozer guard in the Thebacha area. Crews will continue to assess ignition opportunities to remove forest fuels along the fire perimeter in order to make it safer to suppress and control.

Fort Fitzgerald: A 20-pack of firefighters continues to work along the eastern perimeter lines within and just outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary, extinguishing active hot areas of the fire. Crews are also working the most northern east edge off the Pine Lake Road, putting out hot spots along the perimeter.

Hwy 5: Firefighters are patrolling the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots, but most of the work in this area is done.

Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: The extra hard work firefighters have been putting into this area is paying off, and last night’s scans showed no hot spots in this area. Today, firefighters will begin patrolling and monitoring this line, using their senses (sight, smell, touch, etc.) to ensure no hot spots remain.

Heat-sensing scans were completed again last night. Repeated nightly scans help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires significant time and effort. Hotspots must be excavated by hand or with heavy equipment and extinguished with bucket support from helicopters and lots of water from hoses.

Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts by assisting firefighters with travel and suppression via bucketing in more remote areas of the fire line.

Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

We know you’re anxious to get back home and we’re working with the Town of Fort Smith in doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

Based on assessed remaining need, some structure protection is being removed from the Town of Fort Smith in preparation for the safe re-entry of critical services. The threat to Fort Smith is reducing thanks to the hard work of firefighters . We’re getting closer, but we aren’t at the point where it’s safe for all public to return yet. Until essential services are re-established, the community can not support re-entry and an anticipated re-entry date for all public to return is yet to be determined.

While the threat to Fort Smith has decreased because of firefighting efforts along the main perimeter to the south, threats to surrounding communities remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the threat lowers. Fire personnel continue to make good progress on the eastern and northwestern lines close to these communities, where there are still some active areas. A recommendation will be made to the remaining communities as progress is made.

For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

Messages from your communities:

The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald continue to be under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

Closures:

  • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
  • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.
  • Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    James Eastham
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    403-497-4839

    Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 9, 2023

    Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 9, 2023
    (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 473,826* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow.

    * When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change. For up-to-date estimated distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

    There are currently 362 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 59 pieces of heavy equipment, 18 helicopters and 186 firefighters and structure protection specialists. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    Conditions:

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 21C and 35% relative humidity. Winds will be southeast turning easterly in the evening at 5 km/hr, gusting 10 km/hr. There is no significant precipitation in the short-term forecast.

    The Fort Smith area continues to be very dry which contributes to challenging firefighting conditions. Above seasonal average temperatures along with dry weather and gusty winds are forecast for the next four days.

    The drought code remains over 1,100. The highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840. In August, the area around Fort Smith usually receives an average of around 64 mm of precipitation – this year the area received 5 mm in total. That is 7.9% of the average monthly precipitation for August.

    What is being done:

    Structure protection specialists began to strategically remove high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in the Town of Fort Smith yesterday. The systems will continue to be de-mobilized based on assessed remaining need. While the threat to Fort Smith has decreased because of firefighting efforts along the main perimeter to the south, threats to surrounding communities remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the threat lowers.

    Foxholes Road and Thebacha: Yesterday, fire personnel were able to successfully conduct a small, low intensity controlled burn off one area of the fire to tie it into Foxholes Road and make it easier to suppress. In other areas of Foxholes Road, crews continue to suppress the fire perimeter and extinguish hot spots. No known values in these areas have been lost.

    Fort Fitzgerald: A 20-pack of firefighters continues to work along the eastern perimeter lines within and just outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary, extinguishing active hot areas of the fire. Crews are also working the most northern east edge off the Pine Lake Road, putting out hot spots along the perimeter.

    Hwy 5: Firefighters are patrolling the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots, but most of the work in this area is done.

    Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: The extra hard work firefighters have been putting into this area is paying off, and last night’s scans showed no hot spots in this area. Today, firefighters will begin patrolling and monitoring this line, using their senses (sight, smell, touch, etc.) to ensure no hot spots remain.

    Heat-sensing scans were completed again last night. Repeated nightly scans help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one. Crews working areas throughout the fire have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires a lot of effort, using different tools, equipment, bucket support from helicopters and lots of water.

    Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts by assisting firefighters with travel and suppression via bucketing in more remote areas of the fire line.

    Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

    We know you’ve been away from home for a while now, and we’re working with the Town of Fort Smith and doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Based on assessed remaining need, some structure protection is being removed from the Town of Fort Smith in preparation for the safe re-entry of critical services. There is a reduced threat to Fort Smith because of firefighters’ hard work. We’re getting closer, but we aren’t at the point where it’s safe for all public to return. Until essential services are re-established, the community can not support re-entry.

    While the threat to Fort Smith has decreased because of firefighting efforts along the main perimeter to the south, threats to surrounding communities remain. Structure protection in the Thebacha, Fort Fitzgerald and Bell Rock areas will remain until the threat lowers. Fire personnel continue to make good progress on the eastern and northwestern lines close to these communities, where there are still some active areas. A recommendation will be made to the remaining communities as progress is made.

    For more information on re-entry planning, please reach out to your community.

    Messages from your communities:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Closures:

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update for September 8, 2023:

    Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 8, 2023 (Previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 473,723* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow.

    * When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

    There are currently 362 personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex, which includes 59 pieces of heavy equipment, 18 helicopters and 186 firefighters and structure protection specialists. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    Conditions:

    The Fort Smith area continues to be very dry which contributes to challenging firefighting conditions. Above seasonal average temperatures are forecast to return over the weekend and into next week.

    The drought code remains over 1,100. The highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840. In August, the area around Fort Smith usually receives an average of around 64 mm of precipitation – this year the area received 5 mm in total. That is 7.9% of the average monthly precipitation for August.

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 20C and 35% relative humidity. Winds will be southeast turning easterly in the evening at 10 km/hr, gusting 15-20 km/hr. There is no significant precipitation in the short-term forecast.

    What is being done:

    Crews working areas throughout the northeastern perimeter have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires a lot of effort, using different tools, equipment, bucket support from helicopters and lots of water.

    Foxholes Road and Thebacha: Firefighters completed work yesterday on spots that crossed the Salt River and continue to do mop-up work along the fire’s edge. No known values in this area have been lost.

    Crews continue to work off Foxholes Road in several areas to suppress the fire perimeter and extinguish hot spots. They are also working off a containment line constructed near Grand Detour Road to directly suppress the fire. Yesterday, some ignition was conducted to tie the perimeter of the fire in one place into Foxholes Road. If ideal conditions are met today, a controlled burn may be conducted to tie the perimeter of the fire into on place along Foxholes Road.

    Fort Fitzgerald: A 20-pack of firefighters is working along the eastern perimeter lines within and just outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary, extinguishing active hot areas of the fire.

    Hwy 5: Firefighters are patrolling the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots, but most of the work in this area is done. Good news!

    Perimeter line south of Fort Smith: The extra hard work firefighters have been putting into this area is paying off, and remaining hot spots are dwindling. Today, they’ll continue to extinguish the few remaining hot spots here and will begin patrolling and monitoring this line to ensure it is extinguished far enough in.

    Heat-sensing scans were completed last night and continue to showcase the great work crews are doing on the ground. The repeated nightly scans help firefighters find and extinguish hot spots. The scans assign each heated area to a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one.

    Helicopters yesterday were unable to fly until the afternoon due to poor visibility. Once skies cleared, they assisted with moving firefighters to more remote areas of the fireline and fire suppression via bucketing, as needed.

    Structure protection specialists keep up the work of testing and maintaining high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in communities. Part of their work includes assisting with extinguishing hot spots and securing perimeters around values near the fire.

    Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

    Progress continues and we are getting closer each day. We know you’ve been away from home for a while now, and we’re working with the Town of Fort Smith and doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Before fire personnel can recommend to communities that it’s safe to return, the northeastern perimeter of the fire – stretching from Thebacha down underneath Fort Smith and across to below Fort Fitzgerald – must be free of hot spots and extinguished far enough in that fire will not spread outside the current boundary. Structure protection around communities will also need to be removed.

    Communities have been doing re-entry planning, so once the recommendation from fire personnel is made, it will trigger the start of their re-entry plans. For more information on those plans, please reach out to your community.

    Until re-entry plans begin, it is still unsafe for members of the public to be here. Large equipment, fire operations and structure protection systems require extra room. There are limited supplies in the community – what remains is needed to ensure first responders are properly equipped to stay here and manage the incident.

    Messages from your communities:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Closures:

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update for September 7, 2023:

    Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 7, 2023 (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 472 963* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow.

    * When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

    There is currently 385 personnel, 66 pieces of heavy equipment, 19 helicopters and 199 firefighters and structure protection specialists responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    Conditions:

    It is very, very dry in the Fort Smith area, which is contributing to more challenging firefighting conditions. There was some relief from precipitation last week, but the fire has dried out again and above-seasonal temperatures are forecast to return over the weekend and into next week.

    The drought code remains over 1,100. The highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840. In August, the area around Fort Smith usually receives an average of around 64 mm of precipitation – this year the area received 5 mm in total. That is 7.9% of the average monthly precipitation for August.

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 17C and 35% relative humidity. Winds will be primarily from the south but switching easterly in the evening at 10 km/hr, gusting 15 km/hr. There is no significant precipitation in the short-term forecast.

    What is being done:

    Heat-sensing scans were completed overnight again. The repeated nightly scans help show the progress crews on-the-ground are making as well as help firefighters find and action hot spots. The scans associate each heat spot with a GPS coordinate, which crews use to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one.

    Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts and bucket pockets of higher fire activity. They work in close communication with firefighters on the ground to ensure a high level of accuracy.

    Structure protection specialists keep up the work of testing and maintaining high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in communities. Part of their work includes assisting with extinguishing hot spots and securing perimeters around values near the fire.

    Crews are almost done hot spotting (extinguishing remaining heat) along the main northeastern edge of the fire closest to Fort Smith. Today, remaining firefighters on this part of the line continue to extinguish lingering hot spots. Crews working in this area have been reporting 2-3 feet deep hot spots. Putting out spots this deep requires a lot of effort, using different tools, equipment, bucket support from helicopters and lots of water.

    Hwy 5: Firefighters are patrolling the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots.

    Foxholes Road and Thebacha: Crews continue to work in off Foxholes Road in several areas to suppress the fire perimeter and extinguish hot spots. They are also working off a containment line constructed near Grand Detour Road to directly suppress the fire. If ideal conditions are met, a controlled burn may occur to tie the perimeter of the fire in one place into Foxholes Road.

    Firefighters continue to contain two very small spots that crossed the Salt River and do mop-up work along the fire’s edge. No known values in this area have been lost. Sprinklers systems are outfitted and maintained by structure protection specialists near Thebacha.

    Fort Fitzgerald: A crew and excavator continued to work side-by-side on the containment line to the south of Fort Fitzgerald and along Hay Camp Road, extinguishing deep hot spots. Firefighters built helipads to access the active fire perimeter lines in the east, within and just outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary.

    Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

    Progress continues and we are getting closer each day, but we are not there yet. We know you’ve been away from home for a while now, and we’re doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Before fire personnel can recommend to communities that it’s safe to return, the northeastern perimeter of the fire – stretching from Thebacha down underneath Fort Smith and across to below Fort Fitzgerald – must be free of hot spots and extinguished far enough in that fire will not spread outside the current boundary. Structure protection around communities will also need to be removed.

    Communities have been doing re-entry planning, so once the recommendation from fire personnel is made, it will trigger the start of their re-entry plans. For more information on those plans, please reach out to your community.

    Until re-entry plans begin, it is still unsafe for members of the public to be here. Large equipment, fire operations and structure protection systems require extra room and fire personnel need to focus on fire suppression. There are limited supplies in the community – what remains is needed to ensure first responders are properly equipped to stay here and manage the incident.

    Did you know there are fire specialists from as far away as New Zealand are working on the Wood Buffalo Complex? We also have fire personnel helping us out from Idaho, United States, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

    They join fire personnel from the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Parks Canada (who span many provinces). Many structure protection specialists/ wildland-urban interface firefighters are also here as units from municipalities across Alberta.

    Messages from your communities:

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    Closures:

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update for September 6, 2023:

    Wood Buffalo Complex Wildfire Information Update – September 6, 2023 (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. If you return, you are directly impeding operations that are working to protect your community.

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 472,944* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow.

    *When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

    There are currently 377 personnel, 70 pieces of heavy equipment, 19 helicopters and 196 firefighters and structure protection specialists responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    Question: What needs to happen before we can come home?

    Before fire personnel can recommend to communities that it’s safe to return, the northeastern perimeter of the fire – stretching from Thebacha down underneath Fort Smith and across to below Fort Fitzgerald – must be free of hot spots and extinguished far enough in that fire will not spread outside the current boundary. Structure protection around communities will also need to be removed. We are getting closer each day, but we’re not there yet.

    We know you’ve been away from home for awhile now, and we’re doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so.

    Communities have been doing re-entry planning, so once the recommendation from fire personnel is made, it will trigger the start of their re-entry plans. For more information on those plans, please reach out to your community.

    Until re-entry plans begin, it is still unsafe for members of the public to be here. Large equipment, fire operations and structure protection systems require extra room and fire personnel need to focus on fire suppression. There are limited supplies in the community – what remains is needed to ensure first responders are properly equipped to stay here and manage the incident.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    More mild weather has been helping with firefighting efforts, but temperatures into next week are trending back into above-seasonal again. It is very, very dry.

    The drought code remains over 1,100. The highest recorded drought code for this area was approximately 840. In August, the area around Fort Smith usually receives an average of around 64 mm of precipitation – this year the area received 5 mm in total. That is 7.9% of the average monthly precipitation for August.

    Helicopters continued yesterday to support suppression efforts and bucket pockets of higher activity throughout the day, working in close communication with firefighters on the ground.

    In communities, structure protection specialists tested and maintained high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in communities. They also continued to assist with extinguishing hot spots and securing perimeters around values near the fire.

    Heat-sensing scans were done overnight at a high-level and low-level. These scans help fire crews find and action hot spots by associating each heat spot with a GPS coordinate. Firefighters use this information to zone in on the spots and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one.

    Along the main northeastern edge of the fire closest to Fort Smith, crews continue to work east off Highway 5 and west off Pine Lake Road – to meet in the middle, extinguishing hot spots along the way. Firefighters have been reporting hot spots in this area are sometimes 2-3 feet deep. Putting out spots this deep requires a lot of effort, using different tools, equipment, bucket support from helicopters and lots of water.

    Hwy 5: Firefighters will patrol the eastern Highway 5 portion of the fire perimeter for any remaining hot spots.

    Foxholes Road and Thebacha: The fire met the Salt River on the western side on September 2, and crews are containing two very small spots that crossed the river. No known values in this area have been lost. Sprinklers systems are outfitted and maintained by structure protection specialists near Thebacha.

    Crews continued to work in off Foxholes Road in several areas to suppress the fire perimeter and extinguish hot spots in 50-100 feet.

    A containment line near Grand de tour Road was finished, and firefighters began to directly suppress the fire from the line. When conditions allow, a carefully planned controlled burn may occur to tie the fire into the containment line. A controlled burn may also occur on a small piece of the Foxholes Road to tie the perimeter into the road.

    Fort Fitzgerald: A crew and excavator continued to work side-by-side on the containment line to the south of Fort Fitzgerald and along Hay Camp Road, extinguishing deep hot spots. Firefighters will start building helipads and accessing the active fire perimeter lines in the east, within and just outside of the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary.

    Weather:

    Today, the forecast calls for a high of 17C and 32-38% relative humidity. Winds will be from the southeast at 15 km/hr, gusting 20-25 km/hr. There is no sign of any significant precipitation in the short or long-term forecast.

    Closures:

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update for September 5, 2023:

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    Managed under unified command between Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and Parks Canada from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    Wildfire Information Update for September 5, 2023:

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 476,860* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow. The increase in size is due to more accurate mapping after September 2nd’s large wind event.

    *When visibility allows, firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and size. These tools have various accuracies and are subject to change.

    There are currently 412 personnel, 70 pieces of heavy equipment, 19 helicopters and 202 firefighters and structure protection specialists responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We know you’ve been away from home for awhile now, and we’re doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so. Please do not return to or visit evacuated communities. It is still unsafe for members of the public to be here. Large equipment, fire operations and structure protection systems require extra room and need to focus on fire suppression. There are limited supplies in the community – what remains is needed to ensure first responders are properly equipped to stay here and manage the incident.

    Today, a high of 15 C is expected, with a relative humidity of 40 percent. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 km/hr, gusting 15 km/hr. There is no sign of any significant precipitation in the short or long-term forecast.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    Cool temperatures, along with Sunday’s patchy precipitation, led to good firefighting weather yesterday. There have been a few colder days, but lower relative humidity is coming again, which means we will return to a drying trend. The drought code is still over 1,100, which is very very dry. Since records have been kept, this area’s highest recorded drought code was in the 840s before this summer. In August, the area around Fort Smith usually receives an average of around 64 mm of precipitation – this year the area received 5 mm in total. That is 7.9% of the average monthly precipitation for August.

    Fires are burning deep this year. Crews and heavy equipment that have been working along the main northeastern flank, just off Highway 5 and working their way east, are finding hot spots and ash pits that are 2-3 feet deep. It takes a lot of intense, precise work to extinguish a hot area of fire burning that deep. The goal on this flank remains – crews are working on each side, with the goal of meeting in the middle and extinguishing all heat at least 50-100ft in along the way.

    Technology like low-level, heat-sensing scans are helping fire crews find and action hot spots faster. The scans pinpoint hot spots with GPS coordinates and firefighters are able to zone in and take a “seek and destroy” approach, extinguishing them one-by-one.

    An aerial assessment earlier in the week found a few spots off Foxholes Road after Saturday’s wind event and after greater on-the-ground assessing, more spot fires were found in the area. Crews have been working on the spots found earlier and they’ll start to work on the others today. Firefighters will also keep working on areas up the road further to the north, where the fire has met the Salt River. No known values in this area have been lost. There have been a few small spots that jumped the Salt River, but the fire is along the western side of Foxholes Road, held currently at the river.

    Values work by both crews and structure protection specialists continues in the Thebacha area. In addition to pre-existing sprinkler systems, cabins and other values nearest the fire edge have been outfitted with a 50-ft wetline (a control line established by wetting down unburned or “green” areas with water), added suppression efforts, and have had danger trees removed.

    Heavy equipment connected a new containment line near Grand de tour Road into the Slave River today. Crews will follow this containment line with hose to prepare to directly suppress the fire in this area. An ignition specialist assessed this new line for controlled burning potential today. A controlled burn may be conducted to tie the fire into the containment line, if ideal conditions are met.

    Alongside heavy equipment like excavators, crews worked on the containment line to the south of Fort Fitzgerald and along Hay Camp Road. The heavy equipment helps firefighters gain better access to hot spots by pulling apart berms and dirt and make extinguishment easier. In the coming days, a 20-pack of firefighters will start to access and directly attack fire along the perimeter line to the west of Fort Fitzgerald within the Wood Buffalo National Park boundary.

    Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts and bucket pockets of higher activity as required, working in close communication with firefighters on the ground.

    Structure protection specialists continue to test and maintain high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in communities and across the fire perimeter, as well as support firefighters with extinguishment lines on values near the fire perimeter.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    Q: In a previous update, you mentioned wildland-urban interface firefighters. And you talk about structure protection a lot. What does that mean?

    Areas where homes and other human-built infrastructure meet or have wildland fire fuels within are referred to as a wildland-urban interface. Essentially, it’s a place where the natural environment (like the boreal forest) meets or intermingles with a town or city.

    When there’s a wildfire close to a town or city, wildland-urban interface firefighters/structure protection specialists may need to be brought in to help. If a wildfire spreads into a wildland-urban interface (WUI), ignition and burning of structures may occur. Most crews are trained to fight wildfires and may not be trained or equipped to fight structural fires, which have different hazards and risks.

    These structure protection specialists are working closely within the incident and with the Town of Fort Smith to plan and oversee structure protection tactics, set up sprinklers, monitor structures close to fire activity and conduct work like FireSmart, hazard prevention burns and other operations that reduce fire risk. They have helped set up high-volume sprinkler systems around town and have coordinated with the town to create containment lines and guards around communities in the area.

    What is structure protection?

    A main tactic used in structure protection to limit the impact of an approaching fire on structures includes the use of water through sprinkler systems and other means. Firefighters install and set up sprinklers around the structure using hose and pumps in nearby water sources or water bladders.

    The structure protection helps create a wet area and bring up the area’s drought conditions to prevent the wildfire from burning near cabins, residences, and other buildings. The increased moisture levels reduce the chance that embers and burning debris can ignite structures.

    When fire activity increases near residences, crews will turn on some of the structure protection as a precautionary measure.

    Q: What does it take to control 146 km of fire perimeter?

    Containing a wildfire’s perimeter takes a lot of work, especially when there has been little precipitation, drought conditions are severe and there’s 146 km of line to extinguish.

    Because of how deep some hot spots burn, extinguishing fire is not as easy as putting water on surface fuels (soil, deadfall, etc) and calling it a day. That’s why there is and will continue to be a lot of focus on putting out hot spots.

    Fire can burn deep in the duff layer of soil (underground). “Duff” is a layer of soil between the forest floor and deeper mineral soil made up of decomposing plant materials. Fire can smoulder in this layer of soil in cooler temperatures – sometimes even throughout colder fall and winter months. If not fully extinguished, hot spots can pop up again the following spring or summer if fuel remains and the right conditions are present.

    Firefighters are extinguishing fire off the perimeter and off containment lines. They generally start from the line or the fire perimeter, working their way in toward the fire. Once the fire is suppressed, hotspotting begins. This is a very hard and long process where firefighters search for hotspots that’s either provided by a heat scan, or they can also use their senses (sight and smell) to find smoke or fire burning deep in the soil. Once found, they will dig out the hotspot, extinguishing by using hand tools, water pumps and hose or at times, helicopters will assist the firefighters with water buckets.

    This is just some of the hard work that firefighters have been doing on the northern perimeter of the fire, closest to the communities.

    Q: Who is here helping? Is there anyone from other countries or far off places?

    There are a lot of folks here helping. They’re working as heavy equipment operators, fire crew members, incident management team members and many Fort Smith Fire/EMS volunteers stayed behind to help secure the town and install and maintain structure protection systems.

    Fire specialists from as far away as New Zealand are working on the Wood Buffalo Complex. We’ve also welcomed support from our neighbours to the South and have fire personnel from Idaho, United States helping us out as well as folks from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

    They join fire personnel from the Northwest Territories, Alberta and Parks Canada (who span many provinces). Many structure protection specialists/ wildland-urban interface firefighters are also here as units from municipalities across Alberta.

    Do you have any messages of encouragement for them? If you do, we’ll gladly collect the messages and make sure they feel your appreciation and support. You can send to wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca or message them to us on Facebook.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Closures:

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update – September 4, 2023 @ 12:00 p.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 477,450* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow. The increase in size is due to activity occurring on September 2 and more accurately mapped yesterday afternoon.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 389 personnel which include 73 pieces of heavy equipment, 19 helicopters and 183 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We know you’ve been away from home for awhile now, and we’re doing everything we can to get you back as soon as it is safe to do so. Please do not return to or visit evacuated communities. It is still unsafe for members of the public to be here. Large equipment, fire operations and structure protection systems require extra room and need to focus on fire suppression. There are limited supplies in the community – what remains is needed to ensure first responders are properly equipped to stay here and manage the incident.

    Today, winds will be from the west/northwest at 15 km/hr, gusting 30-35 km/hr. The high is 13C, with a relative humidity of 38 percent. There is no sign of any significant precipitation in the longer-term forecast.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    We got rain! The precipitation was sporadic and patchy throughout the fire area, with an average range of 2-6 mm across our rain gauges and some reporting more and some less. This will help to calm fire behaviour for a few days and allow us to keep making good progress. Rainy, cooler weather is what we call good firefighting weather!

    Firefighters spent yesterday working in the Thebacha area to hold a few spot fires from Saturday’s wind event, including two that spotted across the Salt River. They were also working to contain afew spots off Foxholes Road that were found yesterday morning. Crews worked yesterday alongside danger tree fallers, creating a 50-ft wetline (a control line established by wetting down unburned or “green” areas with water) to secure values around Thebacha. Last night, a low-level, heat-sensing scan occurred in this area. Firefighters will use the data from the scan to target specific hot spots today.

    Heavy equipment will start creating a new containment line near Grand de tour Road today, connecting into the Slave River. Crews will follow this containment line with hose to prepare to do direct attack on the ground along the perimeter that grew on September 2.

    Crews and heavy equipment continue to work along the main northeastern flank, closest to Fort Smith. Firefighters are working on both sides of the flank, some off Highway 5 working eastward and some off Pine Lake Road working westward. Their goal is to suppress the fire off the lines they’re building and then, using heat-sensing scans and their senses (touch, sight and smell), they’ll target remaining hot spots and work to extinguish in along the perimeter. Results of a low-level, heat-sensing scan along this line overnight helped target their efforts yesterday, plugging the data into GPS units and extinguishing spot by spot.

    On the eastern side of the fire, crews keep working on the containment line to the south of Fort Fitzgerald and along Hay Camp Road. Today, they’ll be supported by excavators, which will support them getting deeper into the duff layers and help with extinguishing the very deep-burning hot spots.

    Helicopters continue to support suppression efforts and bucket pockets of higher activity as required. The precipitation yesterday afternoon increased visibility for aerial operations and fire specialists assessing containment lines and activity from the air.

    Structure protection specialists continue to test and maintain high-volume lines and sprinkler systems in communities and across the fire perimeter, as well as support firefighters with mop-up and checking on values near the fire perimeter.

    There was no change in fire distance to any of the other communities yesterday, which is good news. For up-to-date distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

    Frequently Asked Question (FAQ):

    We saw that it rained in Fort Smith. Can we come home now?

    The rain is going to help firefighting efforts and make the work we’re doing slightly easier for the next few days. However, in order for the rain to make significant impact given the extreme drought conditions we’ve seen all summer, we would have to see several consecutive days of significant rain for it to dampen and help extinguish the fire.

    It is critical to remember that this area is in extreme drought – the drought code is currently sitting around 1,100. For context, anything above 340 is extreme. What this means for the situation is the fire is burning deep in the ground through the duff layer – which is the layer of the forest just above the soil, full of decomposing leaves and other forest fuel.

    In discussion with long-term residents, elders and fire specialists, no one has seen drought levels this high before. This has persisted for much of the summer and means fires are burning at a very high intensity. With no moisture in the ground, fire management tactics have had to change. Plants and vegetation that usually would be unlikely to burn and could be relied on as natural breaks in forest fuels that would aid in slowing a fire down are burning much faster than usual.

    Fires are exceptionally stubborn this summer, extinguishing deep-burning hot spots and securing lines is taxing time and resources and is especially difficult. We are making good progress, but there is still much work ahead.

    Please know Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and the Town of Fort Smith together are using everything we can including fire crews, heavy equipment, air tankers and helicopters to contain the fire and get folks back in their homes.

    How are you managing the fire?

    There are many strategies being performed, one has been to build containment lines in areas where the fire threatens the communities. The idea of the containment lines is to create a boundary where there’s no fuel for the fire to continue burning. The containment lines can be built using dozers, firefighters with hand tools or using existing features such as roads, rivers, or open spaces. Once the fire arrives at the line, it has nothing left to burn and helps stop the wildfire from burning any further.

    Once the containment lines are established, firefighters can start extinguishing the fire off the perimeter. They generally start from the line or the fire perimeter, working their way in towards the fire. Once the fire is suppressed, hotspotting begins. This is a very hard and long process where firefighters search for hotspots that’s either provided by a heat scan, they can also use their senses (sight and smell) to find smoke or fire burning deep in the soil. Once found, they will dig out the hotspot, extinguishing by using hand tools, water pumps and hose or at times, helicopters will assist the firefighters with water buckets.

    This is just some of the hard work that firefighters have been doing on the northern perimeter of the fire, closest to the communities.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald are under a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and remain under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Closures

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    A firefighter uses a tool called a polaski to dig into the duff and get better access to a hot spot.
    An excavator works to increase access to the fire. Crews work in tandem with heavy equipment to suppress and extinguish fire along containment lines (dozer guards).
    Structure protection specialists/firefighters assist with suppression efforts close to values near the fire’s edge.
    Wildfire Information Update – September 3, 2023 @ 12:00 p.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069)

    The Wood Buffalo Complex was last estimated at 473,431* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 399 personnel which include 73 pieces of heavy equipment, 20 helicopters and 191 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas, are for first responders.

    Today, winds seen the past two days are expected to calm down to 10 km/hr, gusting up to 25 km/hr from the west/northwest. The high is 17 C, with a relative humidity of 50 percent. There is a small chance of rain this evening (1-4 mm). Varying minimal amounts of rain fell overnight on some areas of the fire.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today

    Strong, gusty winds coupled with clear skies led to a more challenging day on the wildfire yesterday. With no smoke or clouds to shield the fire from the sun’s heat, high to extreme fire activity was observed in a few areas of the Wood Buffalo Complex.

    The most active area of the fire yesterday was the northeastern tip, closest to Thebacha. Activity picked up mid-morning and three parts of the fire made a run in this area, reaching Foxholes Road around 5:00 p.m. The fire was last observed to be along the Salt River. Heavy equipment and crews started the day in this area and worked as long as they could before wind speeds and fire activity were too intense to continue. Helicopters worked here all day, helping to slow down and limit spread of this active area. Structure protection specialists ran the sprinkler systems around Thebacha, before having to fall back into safety zones. This area of the fire was assessed strategically by air operations and determined to be beyond air tanker resources, meaning using them as a tactic yesterday would not have been effective.

    Overnight, wildland-urban interface firefighters and structure protection specialists worked in the Thebacha area with fire trucks to patrol for embers and spot fires, along with a night crew. Fire specialists are assessing the Thebacha area of the fire today and will develop a revised plan for containment lines and strategies within the new growth that will include heavy equipment and on-the-ground firefighters.

    Yesterday, along Hay Camp Road, south of Fort Fitzgerald, crews were working in the morning, but pulled out mid-afternoon due to unsafe conditions from higher fire activity and very gusty wind, downing large amounts of trees. Fire activity was pushing primarily to the east toward the Slave River, there were no reports of the fire breaching containment lines south of Fort Fitzgerald. Firefighters were in the Fort Fitzgerald area yesterday running the sprinkler systems on values. They did the same for the Salt River Day-Use Area in Wood Buffalo National Park and Smith’s Landing First Nation fish camp area.

    There were small pockets of higher intensity fire in other areas that were actioned directly by bucketing helicopters and crews on-the-ground with success. No substantial growth in these areas reflects the focused, hard work of firefighters for the past two weeks.

    Crews and heavy equipment worked along the main northeastern flank again yesterday, closest to Fort Smith. Firefighters are working on both sides of the flank, some off Highway 5 working eastward and some off Pine Lake Road working westward. Their goal is to suppress the fire off the lines they’re building and then, using heat-sensing scans and their senses (touch, sight and smell), they’ll target remaining hot spots and work to extinguish in along the perimeter. Last night, a low-level, heat-sensing scan was conducted along 40 km of line. Firefighters have worked 50-ft extinguishment in a few areas of the main northeastern line and will use these scans to target the specific spots they revealed.

    Firefighters today will continue extinguishment work along containment lines, heavy equipment will keep building on guards and helicopters will assist with bucketing as needed.

    The fire distance to Thebacha is now approximately 0.3 km, while there was no change in fire distance to any of the other communities. For up-to-date distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

    Frequently Asked Question (FAQ): When can I return home?

    The situation for Fort Smith and surrounding areas remains urgent. It is not safe for people to return home. This fire is out of control, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow.

    We are working very hard to get everyone back home as soon as possible, but it needs to be safe before folks can return.

    We understand that it is not easy to be away from home, but we thank you for taking the difficult step of leaving your homes. Being evacuated from your homes and navigating the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. Our focus continues to be on the safety of the community and first responders.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Closures

    • Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.
    • Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact

    Alyssa Etsell
    Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Structure protection specialists test high-volume sprinkler systems and work to increase humidity levels around communities, which lowers the risk of impact from fire.
    High fire activity observed on pockets of the Wood Buffalo Complex wildfire yesterday (Sept 2).
    Hoselay through an area of the fire, with a firefighter pictured doing suppression work in the background.
    Wildfire Information Update – September 2, 2023 @ 9:00 p.m. Evening Update

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    Though yesterday wasn’t as challenging as predicted, wind speeds today rivalled yesterday. Coupled together with clear skies and nothing to shield the fire from the sun’s heat, high to extreme fire activity was observed in a few areas of the Wood Buffalo Complex today.

    Activity started to pick up mid-morning, with the most active area being the northeastern tip of the fire. Helicopters spent the day bucketing this area of the fire, as required. The fire has grown toward Thebacha, reaching the Salt River in a few places and was last measured at approximately 0.5 km from Thebacha. Structure protection specialists ran the sprinkler systems in that area, before having to fall back into safety zones. This area of the fire was assessed strategically by air operations and determined to be beyond air tanker resources, meaning using them as a tactic today would not have been effective.

    Along Hay Camp Road, south of Fort Fitzgerald, crews were working in the morning, but pulled out mid-afternoon due to unsafe conditions from higher fire activity and very gusty wind, downing large amounts of trees. Fire activity was pushing primarily to the east toward the Slave River, there were no reports of the fire breaching containment lines south of Fort Fitzgerald.

    Good news – there were small pockets of activity observed in other areas that were actioned directly by bucketing helicopters and crews on-the-ground with success. No substantial growth in these areas reflects the focused, hard work of firefighters for the past two weeks.

    Night operations tonight will patrol along Thebacha Road and area for any spot fires, which are typically caused by higher wind carrying embers and starting new, smaller fires ahead of the current fire edge.

    Personnel will use a heat-sensing drone to conduct a low-level scan of the eastern side of the fire. The scan will show hot spots that remain, and firefighters will use the data to plan operations and determine areas of direct focus moving forward.

    Because of today’s higher activity levels, there is a chance that heat from large amounts of smoke in columns may make satellite heat mapping inaccurate. Please keep this in mind when using these tools in the coming day. It is important to note that satellite monitoring is useful for tracking and monitoring fires but cannot solely be relied on to provide accurate pictures of fires on the landscape. Our fire specialists use the information from satellite monitoring to find new starts and hot spots but conduct smoke patrols, flyovers and ground assessments as necessary to confirm satellite hits.

    The next regular update will be released tomorrow before 1:00 p.m. An evening update may be released tomorrow if the situation changes. 

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update – September 2, 2023 @ 12:00 p.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex remains at an estimated 472,205* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 416 personnel which include 71 pieces of heavy equipment, 21 helicopters and 205 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas, are for first responders.

    Today, strong and gusty winds will continue for the Fort Smith area. The high is 19 C, with a relative humidity of 45 percent. Winds are expected from the west/northwest at 20 km/hr, gusting up to 40-50 km/hr. There is a small chance of rain overnight today (1-2 mm) and during the day tomorrow (2-4 mm).

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    Early yesterday morning, heavy fog/smoke persisted. Visibility started to improve quickly, and the sky cleared up around 10:30 a.m. The temperature climbed, with humidity dropping as predicted, however, by early afternoon, cloud cover rolled in and helped the temperatures stay lower. Wind conditions were as predicted, with reports from the field coming in showing gusts up to 55 km/hr.

    Skies are clear today in the Fort Smith area, which means we may see a pickup in fire activity with the current wind speeds. Temperatures are cooler today though, with higher relative humidity.

    Yesterday, helicopters were able to action active areas of the fire with bucketing all day, from the northern reaches near Thebacha across to the eastern areas by Fort Fitzgerald and everything in between.

    Crews worked along the main northern flank again yesterday, closest to Fort Smith until about 2:00 p.m. when the wind picked up. Firefighters are working on both sides of the flank, some off Highway 5 working eastward and some off Pine Lake Road working westward. Their goal is to suppress the fire off the lines they’re building and then, using heat-sensing scans and their senses (touch, sight and smell), they’ll target remaining hot spots and work to extinguish in along the perimeter.

    Heavy equipment worked for part of the day yesterday in the Foxholes Road area and were pulled off the line as the wind increased and trees started coming down. There was an increase in fire activity in this area, but crews and heavy equipment are working today on spots. They will continue to work on the containment line running north off Foxholes Road, along the eastern edge in that area.

    The eastern area of the fire had pockets of activity yesterday. Similar story in this end of the fire: crews were in the area just south of Fort Fitzgerald until the gusty winds came and made it unsafe to work. Helicopters hit the flare-ups with bucketing all day with good success.

    Night operations took place overnight again, with a crew working off Foxholes Road and patrolling for spots along Highway 5.

    Structure protection specialists ran sprinkler systems in Fort Fitzgerald, Salt River Day-Use Area, Smith’s Landing First Nation’s fish camp site and other areas near active parts of the fire. They also tested and ran the systems surrounding the Fort Smith to bring up the humidity levels around town.

    Today, crews will continue extinguishment work along containment lines as it is safe to do so, heavy equipment will keep building on guards and helicopters will assist with bucketing as needed.

    There was no change in fire distance to any of the communities. For up-to-date distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

    FAQ:

    How are you managing the fire?

    There are many strategies being performed, one has been to build containment lines in areas where the fire threatens the communities. The idea of the containment lines is to create a boundary where there’s no fuel for the fire to continue burning. The containment lines can be built using dozers, firefighters with hand tools or using existing features such as roads, rivers, or open spaces. Once the fire arrives at the line, it has nothing left to burn and helps stop the wildfire from burning any further.

    Once the containment lines are established, firefighters can start extinguishing the fire off the perimeter. They generally start from the line or the fire perimeter, working their way in towards the fire. Once the fire is suppressed, hotspotting begins. This is a very hard and long process where firefighters search for hotspots that’s either provided by a heat scan, they can also use their senses (sight and smell) to find smoke or fire burning deep in the soil. Once found, they will dig out the hotspot, extinguishing by using hand tools, water pumps and hose or at times, helicopters will assist the firefighters with water buckets.

    This is just some of the hard work that firefighters have been doing on the northern perimeter of the fire, closest to the communities.

    We’ve been noticing and hearing from others that it has been abnormally dry this year. Is that affecting the fire situation and the work you’re doing?

    In discussion with long-term residents, elders and fire specialists, no one has seen drought levels this high before. This has persisted for much of the summer and drought conditions remain at a critical level in Wood Buffalo National Park and the South Slave region of the NWT. This means fires are burning at a very high intensity. With no moisture in the ground, fire management tactics have had to change. Plants and vegetation that usually would be unlikely to burn and could be relied on as natural breaks in forest fuels that would aid in slowing a fire down are burning much faster than usual.

    Fires are exceptionally stubborn this summer, extinguishing deep-burning hot spots and securing lines is taxing time and resources and is especially difficult. These things aside, please rest assured that Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Town of Fort Smith together are using everything we can including fire crews, heavy equipment, air tankers and helicopters to contain the fire and get folks back in their homes.

    When can I return home?

    The situation for Fort Smith and surrounding areas remains urgent. It is not safe for people to return home. This fire is out of control, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow. 

    We are working very hard to get everyone back home as soon as possible, but it needs to be safe before folks can return.

    We understand that it is not easy to be away from home, but we thank you for taking the difficult step of leaving your homes. Being evacuated from your homes and navigating the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. Our focus continues to be on the safety of the community and first responders.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    A helicopter dumps water on an active pocket of fire yesterday (Sept 1) to suppress the flare up.
    A crew of firefighters and dangerous tree assessors/fallers work together to remove trees and supress fire activity off a containment line.
    A firefighter uses a hose to extinguish ash pits and hot spots around a containment line.
    Wildfire Information Update – September 1, 2023 @ 9:00 p.m. Evening Update

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    An evening update with some good news. As many of you likely know, the forecast for today was showing that we could potentially have had a pretty challenging day out there.

    The fire activity today was manageable with the resources we had at hand. It was very windy in the afternoon, with pockets of higher activity levels. Helicopters were out bucketing on more active areas of the fire perimeter throughout the day, supporting crews on-the-ground as possible.

    Crews spent most of today on-the-ground until the wind was too strong and gusty to continue work safely around 4:00 p.m. They continued extinguishment and containment line work they’ve been doing in several key areas.

    Visibility was better today than it was yesterday, but there was intense fog again early in the morning. The sky started to clear around 10:30 a.m. and the temperature started climbing, with humidity dropping. However, in early afternoon, cloud cover rolled in and helped the temperatures stay lower than predicted. Reports from the field showed anywhere between 30-55 km/hour wind gusts this afternoon – the fire is quite a large area so the weather varies depending on where the weather station is and what folks on the ground are relaying back to fire behaviour specialists.

    Overcast skies helped in a lot of ways today, but the work fire personnel have done put us in a situation where our defenses are strong. We’ve really been working hard for the past two weeks to make sure we were ready for the wind, heat and lower humidity levels expected today.

    Fire personnel have spent the past two weeks doing suppression, containment and community protection work. Firefighters have been working in several key areas on the ground to establish lines around the fire perimeter using many different tactics. We have used heavy equipment to create containment lines (removing forest fuels like trees, shrubs, etc), which provide a break in the forest meant to limit the spread of fire, while also creating a line for firefighters to safely work to extinguish active fire and make suppression efforts easier. When the ground was too soft for heavy equipment like dozers and excavators, fire crews supported by helicopters and mobile water vehicles focused on extinguishing active areas with hand tools, chainsaws, pumps and hose.

    As a safety measure to protect communities, fire personnel have also been running high-volume sprinkler systems, equipping critical buildings with structure protection, removing trees and vegetation (fuel) between the fire’s perimeter and communities, and doing FireSmart work in vital areas.

    The next regular update will be released tomorrow before 1:00 p.m.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    Wildfire Information Update – September 1, 2023 @ 11:00 a.m.

    Wood Buffalo Complex (previously Parks Canada Fire 7, Alberta Wildfire MNZ003, and NWT SS069):

    The Wood Buffalo Complex remains at an estimated 472,205* hectares in size and is classified as OUT OF CONTROL, which means that the fire is still burning and is expected to grow in size. This wildfire was detected on May 28 in Wood Buffalo National Park and was determined to be caused by lightning. The Wood Buffalo Complex is being managed under unified command by the Government of Northwest Territories, Parks Canada, and Alberta Wildfire from the incident command post in Fort Smith.

    *Firefighters use multiple tools to measure distances and sizes depending on visibility, smoke and availability of aircraft and drones. These tools have various accuracies to measure distance and are subject to change.

    There are currently 394 personnel which include 61 pieces of heavy equipment, 21 helicopters and 180 firefighters and structure protection personnel responding to the Wood Buffalo Complex. These numbers will fluctuate as personnel leave the incident for much needed rest and new personnel and resources arrive.

    We urge members of the public to not return or visit evacuated communities. Firefighters and heavy equipment require extra room to move and need to focus on fire suppression. The few amenities that remain in the community, such as food and gas, are for first responders.

    Today, temperatures are expected to reach 26C and with relative humidity of 25 percent with winds from the southwest 20 km/h, gusting up to 50 km/h. Tomorrow (Saturday), the forecasted high is 19C and a relative humidity of 45 percent with winds from the west 15-20 km/h, gusting up to 50 km/h. There is a small chance of 2-4 mm of rain for the weekend.

    What happened yesterday, and what we’re expecting today:

    Heavy smoke again yesterday created a shield/dome over the fire, keeping temperatures lower and relative humidity higher – this means lower fire activity. The smoke mixed with fog for most of the day, creating extremely poor visibility and impacting operations greatly. Today, a Fire Behaviour Advisory or Red Flag Warning is in place. This means the incoming weather pattern has the potential to rapidly increase fire behaviour (how fire behaves on the ground), creating conditions that can challenge ground crews, encourage fire growth, and increase the potential for spotting. Spotting is when embers are carried by the wind and start new, small fires ahead of the main fire perimeter.

    Smoke and fog in the area yesterday grounded all aircraft for the day and impacted crews’ ability to access most areas of the fire. Some crews and heavy equipment were able to access the perimeter line closest to Fort Smith. They continued their work to achieve 50-ft extinguishment along the current containment guard to the west, as another group of crews started on the east side to access the more active pocket in the middle of that line.

    There was a lot of continued preparation for today’s expected weather and the possible increased fire behaviour it will bring. Systems were run, checked and tested by structure protection specialists to ensure they’re ready for today, if needed.

    This morning, the Fort Smith area was again covered in a layer of fog and smoke, but visibility is slowly improving.

    Today, crews will continue extinguishment work along containment lines as it is safe to do so. In addition to the higher fire behaviour, the strong, gusty winds are expected to down a lot of trees, making it unsafe for crews to be in many areas. Helicopters will assist firefighting efforts with bucketing as visibility permits.

    There was no change in fire distance to any of the communities. For up-to-date distances from the fire to each community, please see attached map.

    FAQ:

    Why hasn’t the map changed?

    The map is updated daily to reflect the most recent measurements, with current distances of the fire to communities. The fire has not had significant growth in a few days, which is a good thing. There’s been a few reasons for this, including heavy smoke in the area keeping temperatures lower and relative humidity higher and the progress our crews and personnel have been making on-the-ground.

    Over the past two days because of very poor visibility, fire personnel have not been able to fly the perimeter of the fire to update the hectare size or perimeter areas.

    The fire is burning in an area that is over 450,000 hectares, and that entire perimeter is shown on the maps we include in daily updates. When growth does happen, it is hard to notice because it pales in comparison to the current size of the fire. The most active area of the fire has been in the north, in the area closest to Thebacha. In that area, we’ve seen about 1,000 hectares of growth over the past week.

    How are you managing the fire?

    There are many strategies being performed, one has been to build containment lines in areas where the fire threatens the communities. The idea of the containment lines is to create a boundary where there’s no fuel for the fire to continue burning. The containment lines can be built using dozers, firefighters with hand tools or using existing features such as roads, rivers, or open spaces. Once the fire arrives at the line, it has nothing left to burn and helps stop the wildfire from burning any further.

    Once the containment lines are established, firefighters can start extinguishing the fire off the perimeter. They generally start from the line or the fire perimeter, working their way in towards the fire. Once the fire is suppressed, hotspotting begins. This is a very hard and long process where firefighters search for hotspots that’s either provided by a heat scan, they can also use their senses (sight and smell) to find smoke or fire burning deep in the soil. Once found, they will dig out the hotspot, extinguishing by using hand tools, water pumps and hose or at times, helicopters will assist the firefighters with water buckets.

    This is just some of the hard work that firefighters have been doing on the northern perimeter of the fire, closest to the communities.

    We’ve been noticing and hearing from others that it has been abnormally dry this year. Is that affecting the fire situation and the work you’re doing?

    In discussion with long-term residents, elders and fire specialists, no one has seen drought levels this high before. This has persisted for much of the summer and drought conditions remain at a critical level in Wood Buffalo National Park and the South Slave region of the NWT. This means fires are burning at a very high intensity. With no moisture in the ground, fire management tactics have had to change. Plants and vegetation that usually would be unlikely to burn and could be relied on as natural breaks in forest fuels that would aid in slowing a fire down are burning much faster than usual.

    Fires are exceptionally stubborn this summer, extinguishing deep-burning hot spots and securing lines is taxing time and resources and is especially difficult. These things aside, please rest assured that Parks Canada, Alberta Wildfire, the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Town of Fort Smith together are using everything we can including fire crews, heavy equipment, air tankers and helicopters to contain the fire and get folks back in their homes.

    When can I return home?

    The situation for Fort Smith and surrounding areas remains urgent. It is not safe for people to return home. Today and tomorrow may be challenging days. The forecast predicts very windy and dry weather.

    We are preparing for potential fire growth due to anticipated strong and gusty winds. Fire personnel have spent the past two weeks creating containment lines, running high-volume sprinkler systems, equipping critical buildings with structure protection, removing trees and vegetation (fuel) between the fire’s perimeter and communities and doing FireSmart work in vital areas. The upcoming forecasted weather may challenge these measures.

    For fire operations to be successful, especially on challenging days, fire personnel must be focused on the main task at hand. People returning or remaining in the communities can impact fire operations and cause focus to be re-directed to rescuing or ensuring non-incident personnel remain safe.

    We are working very hard to get everyone back home as soon as possible, but it needs to be safe before folks can return.

    We understand that it is not easy to be away from home, but we thank you for taking the difficult step of leaving your homes. Being evacuated from your homes and navigating the ongoing threat from wildfires is extremely stressful. Our focus continues to be on the safety of the community and first responders.

    Message from your communities

    The Town of Fort Smith and Fort Fitzgerald have declared a STATE OF LOCAL EMERGENCY and it remains under an EVACUATION ORDER. The ORDER has been issued for public safety. If you have evacuated, please do not return. This is an active wildfire operation area and is dangerous for residents and first responders. You can also visit the Town of Fort Smith webpage for additional information.

    Highway 5 is currently closed from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Click here for highway closure information.

    Pine Lake Road from Bordertown to Peace Point remains CLOSED due to fire behaviour and active fire operations in the area.

    Additional wildfire information

    All other wildfires in Wood Buffalo National Park are being actively monitored and do not pose a risk to public safety at this time. Parks Canada will continue to monitor and action these wildfires as required. For more information visit Wood Buffalo National Park wildfire updates.

    For information on other wildfires visit the respective webpages:

    Report any wildfires or suspicious smoke in Alberta to 310-FIRE, in Northwest Territories to 1-877-NWTFIRE, and in Wood Buffalo National Park to 867-621-0136.

    For further information, contact:

    Alyssa Etsell Fire Information Officer
    Wood Buffalo National Park
    wbnpfire-feupnwb@pc.gc.ca
    867-621-0764

    A danger tree faller works in the Connie’s Road area to remove dangerous trees and make safety zones for firefighters working in the area
    A danger tree faller works in the Connie’s Road area to remove dangerous trees and make safety zones for firefighters working in the area (Aug. 30)
    Image of fire activity along Highway 5 taken by one of the night operations fire crews.
    Image of fire activity along Highway 5 taken by one of the night operations fire crews.
    Poor visibility from fog and smoke at September 1’s morning operations briefing, around 7 a.m.
    Poor visibility from fog and smoke at September 1’s morning operations briefing, around 7 a.m.

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