Out-of-control wildfire west of Edmonton forces evacuation


An out-of-control wildfire has forced the evacuation of some residents living between Evansburg and Wildwood in Yellowhead County, just west of Edmonton.

The evacuation alert issued Tuesday affects residents along Highway 16, west of Highway 22 up to Highway 16A.

As of 8:30 p.m. MT, the fire covered an area of about 125 hectares in the Edson Forest Area. The fire was nine kilometres northwest of Evansburg and moving south.

The wildfire had crossed the Lobstick River but not Highway 16 as of 10:30 p.m. MT.

The fire was first noticed at 4 p.m. when it was just two hectares in size. 

There are currently 30 firefighters, four helicopters, six pieces of heavy equipment and six air tankers involved in fighting the fire. 

Residents of the Lobstick resort area also being evacuated with an evacuation centre being set up at the Evansburg Arena in Evansburg.

“Fire activity has slowed down, but the fire is still classified as out-of-control,” said Josee St-Onge, a provincial information officer with the Wildfire Management Branch in an email at 10:45 p.m.

“The airtankers are done flying for the evening and additional airtankers are available if required tomorrow. Additional heavy equipment has also arrived on scene to help fight this wildfire.

“They will continue working through the night on building a containment lines to surround the wildfire. Firefighters will work late into the evening and return early in the morning.”

As many as 30 firefighters, four helicopters, six pieces of heavy equipment and six airtankers were fighting the wildfire on Tuesday. (Mae Anderson/CBC)

The fire has forced the evacuation of some residents in the Evansburg area. (Mae Anderson/CBC)

Emergency crews have blocked off Highway 16 east and westbound at Highway 22 at about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. (Michelle Bellefontaine/CBC)

More to track …
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