Alberta wildfire sparks eerie mass of purple clouds

Thousands of people living in Northern Alberta have been ordered to evacuated due to an out-of-control wildfire burning near the town of High Level.

"The fire is jumping from crown to crown of trees," Premier Jason Kenney said at a press conference, noting that dry and windy weather will create an increasingly dangerous situation in the coming days.

High Level Mayor Crystal McAteer told reporters that the number of active fires in Alberta is slightly higher than the five-year average for this time of year.

Residents in the area saw the wildfire burn, with purple-colour puffs of smoke moving through nearby communities.

The High Level fire has to be addressed from above, as it’s too dangerous to have anyone on the ground to fight the fire, said Bruce Mayer, assistant deputy minister, Alberta Environment at the press conference.

The fire has come within 5 km of homes, but there’s no reports of damage or injuries yet, Kenney said.

Crews are working around the clock to contain the fire and residents are expected to be barred from returning for at least a few days.

-With files from CBC News

Thousands of people are being told to leave High Level, as well as the Bushe River Reserve, via Highway 58 east of the communities since highways south and west have already been closed due to the blaze. (Rob Drinkwater/The Canadian Press)
The wildfire near Marlboro, Alta., jumped Highway 16. (Stephanie Pollard/CBC News)
Smoke fills the sky from a wildfire near Marlboro, Alta. (Stephanie Pollard/CBC News)
More than 4,000 people are affected by evacuation orders in northwestern Alberta. (Deb Stecyk/CBC News)
The Chuckegg Creek wildfire (HWF-042) burns out of control in the High Level Forest Area, to the southwest and west of the town of High Level, Alberta, Canada in this May 19, 2019 picture obtained from social media. (Alberta Wildfire/via Reuters)
The wildfires are classified as out of control at 251 and 50 hectares in size, respectively. (Social Media via Alberta Wildfire)
Fire HWF042, is located approximately 20 km south of the Town of High Level.(Social Media via Alberta Wildfire)
Smoke from a wildfire 25 kilometres southwest of High Level, Alta. hovered over the town May 19, 2019. Alberta Wildfire says the community is not at risk. (Deb Stecyk/CBC News)
The wildfire near the northern Alberta town of High Level has been burning since May 12. (Deb Stecyk/CBC News)
A fire ban is in effect for most of northern Alberta. (Deb Stecyk/CBC News)
Deb Stecyk says while High Level residents can certainly see the wildfire smoke, they can't smell it. (Deb Stecyk/CBC News)
People living in and near High Level, Alta., have been ordered to leave their homes because of danger posed by an out-of-control wildfire.