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Northern Alberta residents start returning home after two-week evacuation due to fire

Last Updated Jun 3, 2019 at 10:56 am PDT

A helicopter drops a bucket of water on the Chuckegg Creek wildfire west of High Level, Alta., in a Saturday, May 25, 2019, handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Government of Alberta, Chris Schwarz, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Some residents in northern Alberta have started to return home after being forced by wildfires to leave their communities two weeks ago.

An evacuation order was lifted this morning for residents of High Level, the surrounding areas of Mackenzie County and the Dene Tha’ First Nation communities of Bushe River, Meander River and Chateh.

Officials say the 4,000 people who are allowed to return home  remain on evacuation alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice if conditions change.

The last recorded size of the Chuckegg Creek fire near High Level was about 2,800 square kilometres.

Another fire still has the town of Slave Lake on evacuation alert as well.

A quickly moving wildfire in 2011 destroyed nearly one-third of the community.

Mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, some communities in the County of Northern Lights, Bigstone Cree Nation, parts of the municipal district of Opportunity, and several other hamlets and First Nations in northern Alberta.

The Canadian Press