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Edson, Yellowhead County ordered to evacuate as wildfires flare up

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After a cool-weather reprieve, wildfire conditions west of Edmonton have become extreme again and, on Friday night, an evacuation order was issued for the town of Edson and Yellowhead County.

An Alberta Emergency Alert issued around 6:30 p.m. said due to increased fire activity, fires are becoming increasingly unpredictable.

The fires are moving closer to more populated areas, including Edson.

“Fires have jumped fire guards. There could be impacts to roads and highways as the fire crosses blocking off points of egress for evacuation,” the emergency alert said.

All evacuees are being told to head east, where a reception centre is being reopened at the Edmonton Expo Centre (7300 116 Ave.)

The county said Hinton currently has a water restriction in effect, so many services will be unavailable and water supply for campers and RVs will likely be impacted.

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Many industry workers are in Hinton and finding hotels and campsites will likely prove challenging, the county said, which is why people are being told to go towards Edmonton.

A new wildfire, EWF066, was detected Friday and is currently burning six kilometres west-southwest of Edson, on the south side of the McLeod River, west of the Ansell Tower. There are airtankers actively fighting this wildfire with eight firefighters and two helicopters.

Yellowhead County said the western boundary of evacuation zone is Range Road 200, the northern boundary is Township Road 570 to Range Road 160, then north to Township Road 580 east to Highway 751 and south to Township Road 520. It includes the town of Edson.

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Bussing will be available from multiple locations in the town and county.

Yellowhead County collection points:

  1. Marlboro Community Hall, pickup at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  2. Peers Multiplex, picked up as buses go through to Edmonton
  3. Niton Green Grove Pool, picked up as buses go through to Edmonton
  1. Mary Bergeron School
  2. Westhaven School
  3. Griffiths Park Centre
  4. Glenwood Park
  5. Hillendale Phase 2 Park

All buses congregate at the Edson Leisure Centre for transport to the Edmonton reception centre.

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People in the nearby Woodlands County were also told Friday night to be on alert to evacuate.

— More to come…