Skip to content

Alberta towns preparing for potential Fort McMurray wildfire evacuees

Some Fort McMurray residents are being told to evacuate to as forest fire rages
Information officer Josee St. Onge gives an update on the evacuation order for parts of Fort McMurray May 14.

An evacuation order was put in place this afternoon, directing some residents in Fort McMurray to leave due to an approaching wildfire.

Residents and businesses in Abasand, Beacon Hill, Prairie Creek and Grayling Terrace have been move to an evacuation order, according to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB).

"These neighbourhoods directly interface with where the fire could potentially spread. Regional Emergency Services will better be able to defend these neighbourhoods from wildfire if they are uninhabited and clear," according to the municipality.

The Alberta Emergency Alert send out by the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo at about 2 p.m., May 14, states residents must leave the specific areas by 4 p.m.

"Due to the approaching wildfire [MWF-017], interfacing communities are being evacuated to allow for fire suppression efforts. All residents and businesses in these areas must leave the area by 4 p.m.," reads the emergency alert.

Where to go?

Those requiring accommodation are being directed to head south to the Parkland 1 hotel in Lac La Biche.

"Evacuees should register online. Those in need of accommodation or support should report to the Parkland 1 registration centre in Lac La Biche. Evacuees are encouraged to leave Fort McMurray, but may remain in other neighbourhoods if they wish," reads information released by RMWB.

Designated evacuation routes are in place, and residents should lock all doors when they leave their homes, and close windows.

Residents should notify emergency responders if they know of any vulnerable residents who may need help evacuating.

Residents should take pets, medications, important documents, and emergency kits when they evacuate.

"If you are not in an area under Evacuation Order, please remain in place to facilitate a safe evacuation," reads the alert.

Lac La Biche County councillors and senior administration were in a regular council meeting at the time of the evacuation order. Information from Lac La Biche County fire and emergency management officials is expected later this afternoon.

The last time the Lac La Biche community was a designated evacuation centre because of  forest fires was in 2023 when a large forest fire threatened parts of the Northwest Territories and the city of Yellowknife. Before that, the large fire that swept through many parts of Fort McMurray in 2016 sent thousands of displaced people into the Lac La Biche community as well as other evacuation locations across the province.

Janice Huser

About the Author: Janice Huser

Janice Huser has been with the St. Paul Journal since 2006. She is a graduate of the SAIT print media journalism program, is originally from St. Paul and has a passion for photography.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks