More Alberta wildfire evacuees allowed to return home

Brian Howe, a wildfire evacuee speaking to CBC in the town of Edson, Alta., says he's looking forward to returning home. (Trevor Wilson/CBC - image credit)
Brian Howe, a wildfire evacuee speaking to CBC in the town of Edson, Alta., says he's looking forward to returning home. (Trevor Wilson/CBC - image credit)

An evacuation order for areas west of Edmonton lifted Wednesday afternoon, with residents in and around Wildwood, Lobstick and Chip Lake being allowed to return to their homes at 3 p.m.

A news release from Yellowhead County said roadblocks will be removed so residents can return but some roads, including Highway 22, may have adjusted speed limits while fire crews work in the region.

Residents are being told to check their utilities for problems and be ready to leave within 30 minutes if fire conditions change.

The county said transportation will be available between Wildwood and Edson, where a reception centre for evacuees was set up at the Edson and District Leisure Centre.

Brian Howe, an evacuee who has been staying in Edson since Monday, told CBC News he was looking forward to getting back to his Wildwood home.

"My pug wants to go home," he said.

Howe, a former firefighter, said the evacuation has brought neighbours together and there are plans to help rebuild a house that burned down north of the hamlet.

Yellowhead County Mayor Wade Williams said the fire is still burning to the north but firefighters have been able to contain it.

"If that fire flares up and gets out of that perimeter, then we will have to do another evacuation, so we've asked everybody to keep things packed and ready to go," he said.

Trevor Wilson/CBC
Trevor Wilson/CBC

While residents are now allowed to go back home, he said people with breathing problems may not feel safe returning just yet.

"The county will continue to work with them for a few days until we can get everybody back safely," Williams said.

Parkland County has also cancelled its wildfire alert for all areas near Entwistle.

Northern Alberta wildfire

Residents living on Amoco Road, about 40 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, fled their homes Tuesday due to a wildfire on nearby Stoney Mountain Road.

Cindy Miller, band manager and director of emergency management for Fort McMurray 468 First Nation, said the fire is being held at 16 hectares and the winds shifted southeast today, blowing away from the residential area.

"We are allowing those residents to return unless they're vulnerable," she said.

Residents there are being asked to remain on alert and avoid Stoney Mountain Road.

Alert still active in Leduc County

An evacuation alert still remains in effect on Range Road 24, between Township Road 474 and Township Road 475 in Leduc County.

The county said Wednesday morning that crews have contained the wildfire, but high temperatures and strong winds expected today could cause conditions to worsen quickly.

Range roads 24 and 25 are closed between township roads 474 and 475.

Another update from Leduc County is expected later Wednesday afternoon.