Dunes West Wildfire Update #21 | 10 p.m. | County of Grande Prairie Renews Local State of Emergency 

The County of Grande Prairie has renewed its State of Local Emergency. Nothing is currently required from County of Grande Prairie residents. Those currently under evacuation ORDER or evacuation ALERT remain under those designations.  

Continuing the local state of emergency allows the municipality to: 

  • Issue evacuation orders and make arrangements for the care and protection of those evacuated. 

  • Cause any emergency plan or program to be put into operation. 

  • Maintain and co-ordinate emergency medical, welfare and other essential services.  

Residents are urged to be prepared in case the fire escalates and to stay tuned to Alberta Emergency Alerts.  

Current Status of the Dunes West Wildfire  

The wildfire continues to burn out-of-control at an estimated 1,581 hectares.  

Crews have added an additional fire guard west of Township 705 to aid in fire protection. They are also adding additional fire guards tight against the fire in the areas west of the Dunes West neighbourhood and north of the Banks at Spring Creek neighbourhood. 

50 hot spots along the perimeter of the fire were extinguished. In addition, the crews from the Canadian Armed Forces were extinguishing hot spots south of the fire guard near the Dunes West neighbourhood and have done significant work with great results. 

Helicopters continue to be utilized to fight the fire by dropping water buckets where needed. 

Overnight drones continue to identify hot spots and monitor ongoing flare-ups, allowing morning crews to come in with a targeted response plan. 

Additional Fire crews from Calgary arrived in Grande Prairie this afternoon to help assist with the Dunes West Wildfire. Our thanks go to all partners and municipalities that are helping us fight this fire. 

Weather 

Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist into the weekend, causing challenging fire behaviour. 

Returning Home and Downgraded Evacuation Alert 

Residents in evacuation alert areas must continue to stay prepared to leave their home in 30 minutes if fire conditions change. Information on how to return home safely is available on Returning to Your Home — GPREP - Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership. 

The evacuation ORDER has been adjusted to an evacuation ALERT for residents from Township Road 710 South to the Wapiti River between Highway 40 and Range Road 63. Residents in this area can now return to their homes within the area. 

Please be advised that the area is under an evacuation ALERT, and residents are reminded to be prepared to evacuate within 30 minutes if the situation changes. 

All residents from Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River between Range Road 63 and Range Road 75 remain on an Evacuation Order and cannot return to their homes until conditions improve and the order is lifted. 

MD of Greenview Evacuees  

The Reception Centre, located at Bonnetts Energy Centre (10017 99 Avenue, Grande Prairie), is open for all evacuees from the recent evacuation order issued for the MD of Greenview south of Township Road 690, between Highway 40 and the BC Border.  

Evacuees can call the MD of Greenview Call Centre for more information at 780-524-7603. 

Change in Call Centre and Reception Centre Hours  

Effective today, hours of operation for the Reception Centre and the Call Centre are 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. 

Please note, the reception centre stayed open late today to receive evacuees from the area south of Grovedale and closed at 10 p.m. today. 

Provincial Telephone Townhalls 

Albertans who are evacuated and looking for more information can attend nightly telephone town halls with government and partner organizations to get answers to their questions. 

The telephone town halls occur Wednesday, May 10 to Sunday, May 14 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Residents will receive a phone call asking them to join. 

To participate, dial 1-833-380-0691.  Visit https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx for more information.  

Helping Wildfire Evacuees Replace Missing ID 

Evacuees of the Alberta wildfires who lost or left behind their Alberta driver’s licence, ID card or birth certificate between April 29 and June 29 will be able to replace these documents free of charge. 

Evacuees must visit a registry agent office in person to replace their documents at no cost. 

Temporary Access Permits  

Temporary Access Permits are available at gprep.ca. 

Evacuees who had a Temporary Access Permit denied can reapply. The denial would have been based on the current condition at the time of the application. 

Approved permits are for one temporary access. Evacuees will need to reapply to have temporary access again. The backlog of temporary access permits was cleared yesterday, and residents are encouraged to re-apply if needed.   

Increased patrols are being conducted within barricaded areas. Proof must be provided of a temporary access permit, if asked by RCMP, Enforcement Services or checkpoint personnel at barricades.  
 
For Agricultural producers needing access to be able to farm, please contact the County of Grande Prairie’s Agricultural Fieldman, Sonja Raven, at 780-876-6936 for a contractor permit. 

Donations  

We want to send a huge ‘thank you’ to the community for the overwhelming show of support through donations.  

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre has reached capacity for donations of clothes and other household goods thanks to the generosity of people in our region. If you are still hoping to support those affected by the wildfires, please consider making a financial donation to the Northwestern Alberta Emergency Response Fund, volunteering or offering resources such as equipment or supplies.  

Financial donations can be made online or in person by cash or cheque from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday or mailed to Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta at Centre 2000 (3200, 11330 106 Street, Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 7X9). 

If you would like to offer resources such as equipment, supplies or volunteer services, please fill out the web form here: 2023 Wildfire Donation Offer Form — GPREP - Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership 

When you submit the form, an automatic reply will be sent to confirm receipt of your message. 

Evacuee Information and Resources  

Over 1,377 residents have registered with the Reception Centre, located at Bonnetts Energy Centre.  

Information about emergency funding support available for evacuated Albertans is available at Wildfire emergency updates | Alberta.ca.  

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

Next Update  

The next update will be available on the morning of Saturday, May 12.  

 

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For Media Inquiries Only:  

GPREP Information Officer  

1-825-609-5100 

Do you have questions about the wildfire as a resident? Please call the Dunes West Wildfire Information Line at 1-825-606-5092.