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.  

Over the last several days, Fire Operations have focused on containing the Dunes West Wildfire with dozer-created fire guards, specifically the perimeter west of the Dunes West neighbourhood, and north of the Banks at Spring Creek across from Range Road 65.

Crews will continue to action hot spots. Military personnel are targeting hot spots around properties in Riverview Pines, Wapiti Estates, and Spring View Estates, before moving on to reinforce the line of fire retardant in the Spring Creek area. 

Alberta Forestry continues to complete low-level flyovers of the area to identify hot spots for crews on the ground to action. Fire operations note that drone and thermal imaging together provide an overview of hot spots, however this data alone is not 100 per cent accurate given that some areas appearing as hot spots on mapping are later identified as reflections of hot material on the ground (like rocks) by crews on the ground. We understand the public’s interest in viewing drone footage and thermal imaging. However, due to the rapidly evolving wildfire conditions, any identified hot spots would likely become out-of-date before they can be made public. 

Current high temperatures and low humidity paired with gusting winds forecasted for the next several days are anticipated to challenge the current wildfire containment efforts. Because of this, residents are urged to be prepared for evacuation alerts or orders in case the fire escalates. Stay tuned to Alberta Emergency Alerts.

Monitoring the Bald Mountain Wildfire 

Alberta Wildfire is the lead agency on the Bald Mountain Wildfire, located south of the Wapiti River in the MD of Greenview. The fire is estimated at 11,750 hectares and is currently classified as out of control. We are monitoring this fire closely and receiving regular updates from Alberta Wildfire. 

Returning Home and Downgraded Evacuation Alert

The evacuation ORDER and ALERT areas remain unchanged. 

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. 

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.

We now have re-entry information packages available for evacuees. These packages have helpful tips on how to re-connect your utilities, how to dispose of spoiled food, how to ensure your household water and drinking water is safe to use, and many more helpful tips. 

 You can find the re-entry information packages here: 

  • On the GPREP website at www.gprep.ca  
  • In print at the Reception Centre located at the Bonnetts Energy Centre (10017 99 Avenue, Grande Prairie) 
  • At the front desk of your hotel if you are an evacuee 

M.D. of Greenview Evacuees 

The Reception Centre, located at Bonnetts Energy Centre (10017 99 Avenue, Grande Prairie), is open to all evacuees from recent evacuation orders issued by the M.D. of Greenview. The Reception Centre is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

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

Temporary Access Permits 

Temporary Access Permits are available at gprep.ca for those evacuees that are still under an evacuation ORDER. Over 700 requests for temporary access to homes have been completed to date, with support from the RCMP. 

For those areas that remain under evacuation orders, manned barricades are in place. Patrols are also being conducted within all barricaded areas and proof of a re-entry permit must be provided to the RCMP, Enforcement or check point personnel if asked. It is important to remind residents that the fire is still active and generally unsafe for the general public, and this is why temporary access is being controlled.

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.

Mental Health Support Available 

Mental health support is available for Albertans affected by the wildfires. 

211 Alberta is a single point of contact to access digital supports or find local services near you. If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, call or text INFO to 211 or visit ab.211.ca for confidential support.

For virtual counselling services, call 1-833-827-4230 or visit counsellingalberta.com.

For mental health concerns, call the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 for crisis support, information and referrals.

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. 
  • Financial donations can be made online or in person through the Northwestern Alberta Emergency Recovery Fund – 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

Evacuee Information and Resources 

1,728 County 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 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at 1-825-606-5092. 

Next Update 

The next update will be available on the evening of Sunday, May 14. 

 

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For Media Inquiries Only: 
GPREP Information Officer
1-825-609-5100
Info@gprepeoc.com

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