Authorities say there is currently no risk to City of Grande Prairie residents from wildfires in the region. The same goes for County of Grande Prairie residents southeast of Highway 40.
That’s the latest from the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership as of 7:30 p.m. Friday, which has been activated in response to wildfires north of the Wapiti River, being referred to as the Dunes West Wildfire. The County of Grande Prairie has declared a local state of emergency and issued an Alberta Emergency Alert.
All residents in the area of Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River and between Highway 40 and Range Road 73 have been ordered to evacuate immediately. The evacuation reception centre is at Bonnetts Energy Centre for families to register and receive accommodations.
“With the declaration of a state of local emergency due to wildfire and the recent evacuation order issued for a specific area of County of Grande Prairie, we encourage all County residents to remain calm and watch for updates at www.alberta.ca/emergencyalert and www.countygp.ab.ca,” says County Reeve Bob Marshall. “Be assured that there are trained officials in place who are monitoring and responding to the situation. We ask our residents to be neighbourly and follow instructions to help ensure safety for everyone.”
County of Grande Prairie firefighters have also posted on social media, saying they are working on multiple wildfires and other incidents, asking residents to avoid areas where emergency crews are working.
Both the City and County of Grande Prairie issued fire bans Friday afternoon, following the issuing of a provincial fire ban and off-highway vehicle restriction. All open burning is suspended until further notice, including backyard fire pits.
A special air quality statement remains in effect due to poor air quality and visibility from wildfire smoke being blown into the region from wildfires across the province.