Officials with the Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership say a total of seven fireguards have been established around multiple subdivisions to the north and northeast of the now 1,700-hectare-sized Wapiti River wildfire.
Fire guards are created by plowing land with bulldozers to eliminate wildfire fuel in an effort to slow down the fire’s progress. GPREP says one of the fire guards has been tested and held, while the fire has not reached the others.
As the situation evolves, GPREP officials say they will continue to put together assessments of weather conditions, and fire experts have established trigger points to escalating the situation if the fire turns towards densely populated areas.
“We understand there are concerns from community members outside of the evacuation area,” says City of Grande Prairie Fire Chief Preben Bossen. “The fire is a live, evolving situation and the best thing residents outside of the evacuation area can do is to be prepared.”
While the fire currently poses no threat to any area outside of the currently activated evacuation order and evacuation alert zones, residents outside of the evacuation area are still being encouraged to be prepared as best they can by packing things like important documents, medications, and clothing or personal items for 3 days in case the situation worsens. Officials say you could ease any potential issues by having a plan for your pets and keeping yourself up to date with the latest conditions via the Alberta Emergency Alert App or website.