Fire evacuation order issued in central Alberta, area near Fort McMurray on alert

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Authorities are warning residents in west-central and northern Alberta as winds push wildfires towards homes.

An evacuation order is in effect for a rural area near Calmar, Alta., about 50 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

An evacuation alert, warning that people should be prepared to leave on short notice, has been issued for an area south of Fort McMurray.

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo says the alert is for residents of Fort McMurray First Nation, Gregoire Lake Estates and Anzac — all approximately 50 kilometres south of the city Fort McMurray.

In 2016, a fire swept through Fort McMurray, causing the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta history and displacing nearly 90,000 people.

Authorities are instructing residents in areas with evacuation orders to leave immediately and to take their pets, important documents, food and water.

Earlier on Tuesday, an evacuation order was lifted for residents of the hamlet of Evansburg, about 120 kilometres west of Edmonton. The order was issued on Saturday night as an out-of-control wildfire approached.

Residents were told to go to recreation facilities in the nearby communities of Wildwood and Peers.

A state of local emergency remains in effect for Parkland County, just west of Edmonton.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services also announced a fire ban Tuesday as it tried to put out several grass fires on the outskirts of the city.

Acting fire Chief David Lazenby said firefighters are dependent on a change in weather as temperatures over the next few days are to remain unseasonably hot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 2, 2023.

The Canadian Press