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10,000 Albertans evacuated from homes due to wildfires

Editor's note: This article stopped being updated the morning of Friday, May 5, 2023.

Wildfires throughout Alberta continue to force evacuations and cause alerts.

There were 72 active wildfires in Alberta on Thursday, including 44 new ones, according to an update from the province at 6 p.m.

States of emergency were declared in Lac St. Anne County, Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Rainbow Lake and Brazeau County, and a band council resolution was passed by the Little Red River Cree Nation.

For the most current and detailed information about evacuations and alerts, go to the province's website. 


Thousands of people in Drayton Valley and the surrounding area were told to get out of town late Thursday night because of an out-of-control wildfire.

"Evacuate immediately" said the 11:09 p.m. order issued by Alberta Emergency Management Agency.

Residents in the area of Township Road 484 north to Township Road 494, and North Saskatchewan River west to Range Road 80, were also told to leave.

"Evacuate via Highway 22 north to Highway 624. Follow 624 to Tomahawk. Follow 624 east towards Stony Plain," it said.

Those needing help were told to call 780-542-7777. A reception centre has been set up for evacuees at the Edmonton Expo Centre at 7515 118 Avenue, Hall C.

"Anybody that is unable to evacuate the community, a staging area is being established at Kal Tire with buses available to take people out of Drayton Valley to be taken towards Stony Plain," a Facebook post from Brazeau County said.

"Bring important documents, medication, food, water and supplies for at least 3 days. Take pets with you."

Drayton Valley has a population of about 7,000 people and is located about 95 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

One structure, an outbuilding, was destroyed by the fire and Brazeau County issued a state of local emergency Thursday.


An evacuation alert in Yellowhead County was expanded to include the communities of Wildwood, Evansburg, Lobstick and Hansonville.

The residents of the following areas were told to be prepared to be gone for at least three days and to take all important documents, medication, and pets with them: 

  • As of 2:39 p.m.: Township Road 544 to Township Road 553, east to Highway 33 and west to Range Road 92 west of Wildwood;
  • As of 3:50 p.m.: North of Wildwood from Township Road 544 north to Township Road 560, and west to Range Road 110 and east to Highway 22. Residents in this area were told to evacuate to Edson using Range Road 92 heading south toward Wildwood;
  • As of 7:24 p.m.: From Elk River Road south to just past Brazeau River between the Brazeau Reservoir to Range Road 145; and  
  • As of 8:22 p.m.: From Pembina River west to Range Road 101, north to Township Road 550 and south to Township Road 520. Evacuees were told to use westbound Highway 16. 

A reception centre is available at the Edson Leisure Centre. Bus transportation is being provided from Tipple Park Museum and the Wildwood Community Hall.

More information is available by phoning 1-833-334-4639 or on the Yellowhead County website

Wildwood residents were forced to leave May 2 due to wildfires. They were allowed to return Wednesday, but told to remain on a 30-minute evacuation notice. 


A wildfire prompted an evacuation near the hamlet of Entwistle for the second week in a row.

At 7:21 p.m. Thursday, Alberta Emergency Management ordered everyone in the area west of Range Road 65 to the Pembina River, north of Township Road 530 to Highway 16, including all residents of Entwistle, to evacuate immediately.

"Everyone must evacuate to the reception centre at the Wabamun Jubilee Hall, at 5132 53 Avenue in Wabamun. If you need help evacuating, call 780-203-3258," it said.

Entwistle and Evansburg were forced to flee two wildfires on Saturday. That evacuation order was lifted on Tuesday, to the delight of residents. 


In the far north, a wildfire has destroyed more than a dozen homes, a business and a police detachment in one of Little Red River Cree Nation's three communities.

An out-of-control fire south of the Peace River had grown to more than 4,300 hectares as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

The evacuation effort began Wednesday and ramped up overnight as the blaze doubled in size. 

Early Thursday afternoon, the nation's chief directed all residents and essential workers who were still in Fox Lake to leave immediately as the fire was encroaching on its barge landing, the community's main access point. 

About 100 remaining people left from an access point west of Fox Lake, at Little Red River. Although firefighters were going to be on the lookout for anybody who had not made it out, the nation's chief said at 8 p.m. he believed all residents were accounted for.  


A home was destroyed by wildfire in a First Nations community in eastern Alberta Thursday, prompting an evacuation there.

Some residents of the Cold Lake First Nation, south of that city, were told to leave in an alert issued at 6:22 p.m.

"There is a wildfire on the southeast side of the Nation, between Highway 897 and Range Road 24. The fire is moving west toward Range Road 24," it said.

"Everyone south of Township Road 614 and up to Range Road 24 in Cold Lake First Nation must evacuate now."

People were asked to go to the Dene Hotel and Conference Centre on Highway 28 and Range Road 423.

Anyone who needs help evacuating can call 780-545-3332 and more information was provided on the Nation's website and app.


A wildfire burning southeast of Sangudo, about 110 kilometres west of Edmonton, prompted several evacuation orders in Lac Ste Anne County.

As of 2:02 a.m., everyone in the following area was supposed to leave: west of Highway 43 and Range Road 60 to Highway 757, between Brock Lake north to Township Road 564.

"Go to the Mayerthorpe Diamond Centre at 4184 54 Street to register. If you need help evacuating, call the County Office at 780-785-3411," the alert said. 


The area of Range Road 41 east to Range Road 35, and from Township Road 494 north to Township Road 495, in Leduc County is evacuated. The area is northeast of the village of Warburg.

Everyone in the area was told to leave immediately and take important documents, medication, pets, and supplies to be away from home for at least three days. Evacuees are to call 780-955-4546 to register with the county. Anyone who needs help evacuating should call 780-955-4546.

A wildfire is burning near Range Road 40 north of Township Road 494.

As of 8 p.m. Thursday, officials said the fire was contained and crews would remain there overnight monitoring for flare ups and dealing with hot spots. 

At this time, too, Range Road 40 between Township Roads 494 and 495 was closed. 


Some residents in Beaver Lake Cree Nation remained on wildfire alert Thursday evening. 

According to the last update at 4:31 p.m., residents between Township Roads 570 and 555 and between Range Roads 80 to 100, needed to be prepared in case an evacuation order was issued. 

"There is a wildfire about 12 km south of the Paddle River Dam. It is moving north east. If conditions do not improve, this fire could force the evacuation of the impacted area. No evacuation is required for this area at this time," the Alberta Emergency Management Agency said at the time.

They were told to gather important documents and medication, plus food, water and other supplies for three days. 

Previously -- after midnight on Thursday -- residents on Elinor Lake Road, Victoria Trail, Small Face Drive and Lameman Drive began evacuating.

An evacuation registration centre was set up at the Multi-Purpose Hall across from the Band Office. 


An evacuation order was issued at 11:22 p.m. Thursday because of a wildfire burning about 10 km northeast of the town of Athabasca, about 140 kilometres north of Edmonton.

At that time, the fire was east of Camping Lake and moving west.

"Everyone on Range Road 214 and 215, north of Township Road 674 to the Athabasca River must evacuate now," the alert said.

"Evacuees should go to the Athabasca Regional Multiplex. Everyone else in the area between Jackfish Lake and the Athabasca River to the west must prepare for a possible evacuation."

This is a developing story. It will be updated as information becomes available. Top Stories

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