Evacuation alert lifted for parts of Alberta’s Wood Buffalo region as wildfire threat there eases

While dozens of new wildfires sprung up across Alberta on Thursday, prompting new evacuation orders in some areas, there was some good news on the fire front in parts of the region surrounding Fort McMurray.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo announced Thursday night that an evacuation alert previously issued for Anzac, Gregoire Lake Estates and Fort McMurray First Nation No. 468 was no longer in effect.

“Alberta Wildfire have continued with air and ground suppression, and wildfire MWF-009 is not growing in size and is classified as being held,” the municipality said in a post on its website.

“Anyone in these areas and all residents in the region should continue to stay informed and be prepared during wildfire season, especially with the extremely dry conditions elevating the wildfire risk.”

While the evacuation alert was lifted, a fire ban remains in effect for most of the Wood Buffalo region that includes all outside fires, charcoal barbecues and fireworks.

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While an evacuation order for the communities never materialized, an evacuation alert had been in place since Tuesday.

Wood Buffalo officials said on Wednesday that the fire danger level in the Fort McMurray Forest Area had increased “from high to extreme.”

Wednesday marked the seven-year anniversary of the largest wildfire evacuation effort in Alberta’s history. A massive wildfire in the Wood Buffalo region, one that was later dubbed “The Beast,” triggered the evacuation of more than 80,000 people. The fire went on to destroy hundreds of homes and other buildings.

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