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UPDATE: Evacuation order issued in Fort Chip

Last Updated May 30, 2023 at 6:56 pm MDT

A screenshot from Alberta Wildfire with details on the MWF-025 fire north of Chipewyan as of May 30, 2023. Image supplied by Alberta Wildfire.

An Evacuation Order is now in effect for the entire community of Fort Chipewyan due to a nearby wildfire.

In a joint release issued at 6:35 pm on May 30, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo said people will be transported out of the community over the next 72 hours.

This amends the evacuation alert issued by the RMWB, along with the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation, and Fort Chipewyan Métis Nation at 10:00 am.

“At this time the priority for evacuation continues to be vulnerable and elderly people. If you are in this group, you are asked to register at the Archie Simpson Arena. Do not go directly to the airport at this time.”

As of May 30, 2023, at 12:00 pm, Alberta Wildfire described the fire as out of control.

“Air transportation from the community to Fort McMurray is being arranged as well as temporary accommodations in Fort McMurray and Fort McKay for evacuees. Residents evacuating by boat on the Athabasca River are advised to travel south to Fort McKay at Barge Landing. An evacuation registration centre will also be located in Fort McKay.”

Temporary lodging in Fort McMurray and Fort McKay for evacuees is also being planned.

Classified as MWF-025 by Alberta Wildfire, the lightning-caused fire was first assessed on May 28, 2023, at 300 hectares in size.

Since then, it grew to 3000 hectares.

It’s the first wildfire of note to trigger an evacuation alert in the RMWB since the MWF-009 fire south of Gregoire Lake Estates in early May.

READ MORE: Fire near Gregoire Lake being held

The Municipality said Alberta Wildfire crews are continuing to work hard on containing the fire.

Information, including tips on how to arrange a 72-hour emergency kit are available on the Municipality’s website.

A fire ban and off-highway restrictions remain in effect across Wood Buffalo.