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'Situation has escalated': Edson residents ordered to evacuate because of wildfire

For the second time in about a month, residents of Edson were told to leave town Friday night because of a wildfire.

An Alberta Emergency Alert was issued at 6:22 p.m. after the "fire jumped fire guards."

"Due to increased fire activity, fires are becoming increasingly unpredictable. These fires are moving closer to more populated areas including the Town of Edson," the alert said.

"There could be impacts to roads and highways as the fire crosses blocking off points of egress for evacuation. The reception centre is the Edmonton Expo Centre."

There were at least four out-of-control fires burning east and south of Edson Friday, and according to Alberta Wildfire, about 240,000 hectares has burned.

The alert included some residents of Yellowhead County. Anyone without transportation was asked to call 1-833-334-4630.

"Western boundary of evacuation zone is Range Rd 200. Northern boundary is Township 570 to Range Rd 160 then north to Township 580 east to Highway 751 and south to Township 520," the county Facebook page stated.

A post from the town clarified that people do not have to go to Edmonton if they have somewhere else to stay, but were asked to register by phone at 1-833-334-4630.

"The situation has escalated and we’re asking everyone to start preparing to leave," a Facebook post from town said at 5:45 p.m.

"The fire south of Edson, in the Shining Bank area is showing extreme fire behaviour and we’ve had numerous new starts today as well."

"It is really important that people follow the order as those that stay behind could impact fire operations. In an evacuation there is no emergency medical assistance (hospital/ambulance) and other emergency crews are busy dealing with the situation at hand. You could pull crews away from something important or be at risk of having no help."

Edson residents were told to evacuate west to Hinton on May 5 because of fire, but were allowed to return a few days later.

About 8,000 people live in Edson, which is roughly 200 kilometres west of Edmonton. Top Stories

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