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High Level wildfire highest on 'intensity scale': Premier Kenney

Last Updated May 21, 2019 at 6:05 pm PDT

EDMONTON – The Government of Alberta is keeping a close eye on a major wildfire near the town of High Level.

Premier Jason Kenney gave an update on Tuesday morning saying that thousands have been evacuated from High Level and Mackenzie County as well as parts of the Dene Tha’ First Nation.

While there are several fires burning in the northwest part of Alberta, Kenney says they are most concerned about High Level as it grows in intensity.

“On the fire intensity scale of one to six, the High Level fire is currently assessed to be a six, meaning that the fire is jumping from crown to crown of trees,” he said.

There is some good news as winds are keeping the fire away from High Level and the town has stated that there is no immediate threat.

However, Kenney says the risk remains high as dry conditions are expected in the foreseeable future.

Right now there are 90 firefighters, 25 helicopters and air tankers fighting the blaze to prevent it from coming any closer to the town.

According to government officials, everyone was evacuated from High Level safely with the exception of emergency staff and some grocery store employees who will stay behind to help first responders.

The town is being praised for its quick response and early evacuation, a far cry to the “mayhem” of Fort McMurray’s late evacuation.

Kenney hopes to visit the High Level area later Tuesday if conditions permit.

Mackenzie County is asking for donations of different hygiene items which can be dropped off at the La Crete Heritage Centre

 

With files from CityNews