27 firefighters from the Calgary Fire Department arrived in Grande Prairie this evening to support local fire crews and an update on the damage assessment plan is now available. 

Dunes West Wildfire Status  

The size of the wildfire is still estimated at 1,700 hectares and remains classified as out of control. 

Crews continue to utilize several firefighting techniques to suppress and contain the fire including helicopters with buckets, cooling hot spots, laying sprinklers to saturate the ground, and structure protection. 

Today, weather conditions and fire behaviour aided in the fire response, but crews are reminding the public to not become complacent. Technical experts continue to assess weather conditions and are preparing for shifting conditions throughout the week, including thunder showers and shifting winds. 

There remains no changes to evacuation orders and alerts. Residents are reminded to stay tuned to Alberta Emergency Alerts, as the situation continues to evolve. 

Support and Relief Resources 

Support and relief resources from Calgary Fire Department arrived today, including:  

  • 27 firefighters 

  • 3 engines 

  • A mechanic truck  

These crews are integrating into the operational plan and headed directly to the firefight.  

The Grande Prairie Regional Partnership and its members (County and City of Grande Prairie, Towns of Beaverlodge, Wembley, and Sexsmith) are grateful for the support resources. It provides much-needed relief for local crews who have been battling the fire since May 5, 2023. 

Update on Damage Assessment Plan 

Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership is working with external stakeholders to establish a plan for damage assessments, which inform re-entry plans. The external stakeholders include ATCO Electric, ATCO Gas, Aquatera, and Alberta Health Services to assess critical infrastructure and individual properties. 

The firefight remains the priority and the evacuation area is not ready for damage assessments to begin. 

The damage assessment plan will only be activated when fire crews deem the evacuation area safe for assessments to occur. General re-entry to impacted areas will only be considered after damage assessments are complete. 

The GPREP Incident Command Post is evaluating daily to identify if fire conditions allow damage assessments to be conducted safely. 

Financial Assistance 

There are now over 930 evacuees registered at the Bonnetts Energy Centre.

The Government of Alberta has announced emergency funding support for the any Albertan who has been evacuated under mandatory order for seven consecutive days or more. 

Eligible evacuees will receive $1,250 per adult and an additional $500 per dependent child under 18 years. Evacuees can apply for the payment at alberta.ca/emergency using an Alberta.ca Account. 

Funds can take up to 24 hours to flow into accounts and will be disbursed via e-transfer. Evacuees who are unable to receive an e-transfer or who cannot apply online can contact 310-4455 for assistance and to make alternate payment arrangements. 

Area Residents Reminded to Be Prepared 

The most effective way for residents and businesses outside of the evacuation area is to FireSmart your property. 

Officials are requesting that homeowners, businesses, and industry review their properties and take some proactive steps to protect it in the event of a wildfire. Simple steps like yard maintenance can make a huge difference. Read more at FireSmart | Alberta.ca.  

Learn more about wildfire preparedness at: alberta.ca/wildfire-preparedness.aspx. 

Call Centre and Reception Centre Hours 

The Call Centre and Reception Centre are both operating 24 hours daily. 

Any evacuees requiring support may attend the Bonnetts Energy Centre located at 10017 99 Avenue in Grande Prairie.  

The Dunes West Wildfire Information Line is available at 1-825-606-5092. 

Next Update 

The next update will be available by 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 9, 2023. 


Media Contact: 
GPREP Information Officer