Yesterday, firefighters were responding to a fire located in the northern region of the County of Grande Prairie. A member of the public operating their own personal dozer put themselves and crews in danger by knocking down trees into the fire and coming close to running over fire crews and their equipment.

It is imperative that the public understand decisions on how to fight and eliminate any fire are highly coordinated. Our goals are first to protect people, and second to protect property.

Members of the general public, no matter how well-intentioned, cannot conduct unsanctioned acts and interrupt a fire response.

Our fire crews are made up of highly skilled firefighters trained in everything from structure protection to wildland firefighting and getting in their way places themselves and crews in danger and reduces our ability to protect people and property.

Current Status of the Dunes West Wildfire

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

Although the Dunes West Wildfire is still classified as out of control, Fire Operations confirmed this morning that the wildfire is 80 percent contained by dozer-created fire guards and the Wapiti River itself which acts as an additional natural guard. While this level of containment is positive news, the high temperatures forecasted for coming days may lead to new starts and additional challenges.

Crews continue to build additional fireguards (dozer guards) tight to the fire perimeter west of the Dunes West neighbourhood, and North of the Banks at Spring Creek, across from Range Road 65.

Crews worked with thermal drone operators overnight to detect and respond to hotspots.

Roving patrols were conducted overnight, and today’s focus is on the ongoing response to hot spots detected from thermal drone scans, as well as reinforcing the 30-metre perimeter fireguard.

Military crews continue making progress on clearing hot spots overall and helicopter bucketing continues.

County Renews State of Local Emergency

On May 12, the County of Grande Prairie 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.


High temperatures forecasted for coming days may lead to new starts and additional challenges.

Returning Home and Downgraded Evacuation Alert

On Friday night, the evacuation ORDER was 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. Information on how to return home safely is available on Returning to Your Home — GPREP – Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership.

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.

M.D. 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 M.D. of Greenview south of Township Road 690, between Highway 40 and the BC Border.

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

Change in Call Centre and Reception Centre Hours

Effective Friday, May 12, the hours of the reception centre at Bonnetts Energy Centre are now 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

The call centre also changed their hours to match, and is now operating 8:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m.

Temporary Access Permits

Temporary Access Permits are available at

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.

Northwestern Alberta Telephone Townhall

Residents in northern Alberta are invited to attend a special telephone town hall to learn how to prepare in case they need to evacuate their homes.

The telephone town hall will occur on Saturday, May 13 at 6:00 p.m. To participate, dial 1-833-380-0691 or listen and ask questions online.

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.

Visit for more information.


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 the Northwestern Alberta Foundation (formerly the 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

1,415 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 |

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

Next Update

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


For Media Inquiries Only:
GPREP Information Officer

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