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UPDATE: Wapiti River wildfire evacuation alert area expanded north

UPDATE #3: As of 5:59 p.m. Saturday, the evacuation alert area has been expanded to include everyone from Township Road 712 south to the Wapiti River. The alert is now in effect for all residents from Range Road 75 to Range Road 80 from Township Road 712 south to the Wapiti River, including the Pipestone Creek area. Everyone in the area must prepare for a possible evacuation.

UPDATE #2: As of 2:35 p.m. Saturday, the evacuation area has been expanded north to include everyone from Township Road 712 south to the Wapiti River and between Range Road 65 and Range Road 74. All residents in this area must evacuate immediately to Grande Prairie.

An evacuation alert remains for Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River and between Range Road 80 and Range Road 75.

UPDATE: The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership has also announced a new evacuation alert as of 11 a.m. Saturday, spanning from the area of Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River and between Range Road 80 and Range Road 75, which includes the Pipestone Creek area, although the campground remains closed for the season. An evacuation alert is not in effect for the City of Grande Prairie.

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GPREP says firefighters from the County of Grande Prairie, City of Grande Prairie, and Alberta Forestry continue to battle the fire. Crews worked through the night and were reportedly able to protect all homes in the affected area. Some outbuildings were damaged or destroyed. Alberta Wildfire says it has grown to 1,500 hectares.

As of 11:31 a.m. Saturday, Range Roads 74 and 75 are now a part of the evacuation area for the wildfire north of the Wapiti River. The evacuation order is now in effect for the area of Township Road 710 south to the Wapiti River and between Highway 40 and Range Road 75.

All County of Grande Prairie residents in the expanded area are being asked to evacuate immediately. The registration centre is at Bonnetts Energy Centre in the City of Grande Prairie and the call centre is available at 1-825-606-5092.

As of Friday night, the West Dunes fire eight kilometres southeast of Dimsdale was estimated to be 400 hectares in size. Fire crews were working through the night to establish a fire perimeter to reduce the spread of the wildfire, and it was anticipated weather conditions would help.

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