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UPDATE: Saskatoon Island Park fire turned over to province

UPDATE: The Wembley Fire Department says the fire remains under control and has been turned over to the province. Alberta Wildfire will finish extinguishing any remaining hot spots over the next couple of days.

None of the campground was lost to the fire, and almost no damage has been reported to the walking trail system. It will likely stay closed until the province is done work.

The brush fire that broke out in the Saskatoon Island Provincial Park is expected to be put out Tuesday. As of 4:30 p.m. wildfire information officer Kelly Burke said the fire was 2.5 hectares in size and still under control with no further growth expected.

“Currently, a 20 person crew is working and we anticipate this fire will be extinguished today.”

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The Wembley Fire Department was first called to the blaze around 1:30 p.m. Monday. They also received backup from in Beaverlodge, La Glace, the County of Grande Prairie, and the province, who monitored the situation overnight.

The walking trails on the south end of the park will stay closed until the fire is fully out. The park’s day use areas and campgrounds are still open.

The wildfire danger in the Grande Prairie Forest Area remains high. Burke urges residents to do whatever they can to avoid starting another fire. The one in the park is believed to be human-caused.

“Exercise extreme caution in forested areas as warm temperatures, wind and the possibility of lightning create conditions that are favorable for wildfire ignition and spread.”

Since wildfire season started at the beginning of March, there have been 17 wildfires that have burned 4.8 hectares of land in the Grande Prairie Forest Area. Fire advisories remain in effect for the forest area and the County of Grande Prairie.

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