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'Definitely nerve-wracking': Out-of-control wildfire puts Saprae Creek on temporary evacuation alert

A wildfire is seen in a file photo. (Dave Mitchell/CTV News Edmonton) A wildfire is seen in a file photo. (Dave Mitchell/CTV News Edmonton)
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An out-of-control wildfire on the weekend put people living in the hamlet of Saprae Creek, about 25 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, on evacuation alert temporarily.

"Your heart kind of sinks and you get really nervous especially if you were here in 2016, which we were, we were in this house, same place," said Trish Trefry, who lives in the hamlet.

Trefry said the fire is four to five kilometres away from her home.

"We bought out in the woods to have the woods, now they're pretty much all gone. There's been a lot of re-growth but there's a lot of stuff to still burn out there, obviously, since it's so close," she said.

The alert was first issued on Sunday afternoon, and by evening, the fire was reported as being 30 hectares in size on the Alberta Wildfire dashboard.

"It was definitely nerve-wracking, but you just get some stuff together and just get ready to go," said Trefry.

"Everybody put a little bag together. Tanks are full of fuel and ready to go if we need to," she added.

As of Monday, the wildfire known as MWF-012 was reported to be 67 hectares in size. 

The evacuation alert was cancelled later Monday and the blaze was reclassified as being held. 

According to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), there were four firefighting crews, six helicopters, two airtanker groups and five heavy equipment groups battling the fire.

During an interview with CTV News Edmonton from Trefry's home, there was no sign of the wildfire raging nearby.

"The day of evacuation in 2016, it was exactly the same," she said. "You couldn't see a thing in the horizon, and then all of a sudden, the wind changed direction, something happened and it was black."

In a video posted to social media, RMWB Mayor Sandy Bowman addressed residents under the evacuation alert.

"We know from our experience that this can be very stressful," he said. "We are here to support you, to protect the community and do everything we can to be there for you."

"There's a really great response and they've been hitting it hard," said Trefry of the firefighting efforts.

"I'm confident that they'll get it under control, but obviously, there's always that nagging feeling in the back because I thought that too in 2016," she added. 

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