Strong winds on Thursday pushed the wildfire near Fish Lake towards Nordegg. This photo was provided by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

Out-of-control wildfire burns near Nordegg

A wildfire in the Nordegg area that grew to 75 hectares was declared out of control Thursday afternoon and the hamlet of Nordegg was put on a one-hour evacuation notice if required.

A wildfire in the Nordegg area that grew to 75 hectares was declared out of control Thursday afternoon and the hamlet of Nordegg was put on a one-hour evacuation notice if required.

On Wednesday, the 45-hectare fire near Fish Lake was about 15 km west of Nordegg and was being held. On Thursday the fire shifted and was two km southwest of Nordegg.

“It started going back out of control on us at 2:30 p.m. It was wind that picked up on us. We’re aggressively actioning it. We’ve got air tankers and heavy equipment on it,” said fire information officer Barry Shellian with Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area.

“Given the current fire conditions and the weather it doesn’t look like it’s going to be going towards Nordegg. It’s kind of shifting south,” Shellian said late Thursday afternoon.

The fire was reported on Sunday and earlier this week Fish Lake Campground and Frontier Lodge were on evacuation standby.

Thursday’s evacuation notice did not include them.

The number of firefighters at the fire grew to 60 from 36. Three bulldozers and three helicopters were also being used.

“Crews have been ordered from outside the Rocky Mountain House area to assist with this.”

The Forestry Trunk Road was to be closed from Hwy 11 to the North Fork Road.

Shellian said it was potentially the largest wildfire burning in Alberta but the size of wildfires change all the time.

Clearwater County issued Nordegg’s evacuation notice on the recommendation of Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development.

The county warned that since significant amounts of smoke were expected, residents with respiratory ailments may choose to voluntarily evacuate the area.

Residents leaving the area were asked to call the county at 1-403-845-4444 to register and provide contact information.

Ron Leaf, CAO for Clearwater County, said at 5 p.m. staff started going door-to-door to alert Nordegg residents about the possibility of evacuation.

Nordegg has about 50 full-time residents as well as seasonal residents.

An evacuation plan for 100 to 150 people was being developed.

The regional fire department was identifying resources needed, like helicopters and fire trucks, if fire put structures at risk.

“This is proactive planning at this particular point in time. It’s based on a worst-case scenario with no suppression.

“We’re in very close contact working with ESRD on making the determination of what this fire is going to do over the next 24 to 72 hours. We also have RCMP involved.

“We’re co-ordinating with AHS. This is truly a multi-agency response,” Leaf said Thursday night.

In July 2006, Nordegg was evacuated for four days when a 124-hectare fire, two km southeast of Nordegg, threatened the community. About 130 residents and recreational users in the area were evacuated.

Due to high hazard conditions, a fire advisory was in put into effect for the Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area on Thursday.

Existing fire permits were suspended and no new permits will be issued until conditions allow.

Safe campfires were still allowed, but could be restricted in the coming days if conditions worsen.

Updates on the wildfire are available on ESRD’s wildfire information line — 1-866-916-INFO(4636) — or by visiting

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary chiefs from Wet’suwet’en First Nation are expected to return to British… Continue reading

Fort Macleod, Alta., to get special advance screening of new ‘Ghostbusters’ film

There will be something strange in the neighbourhood of Fort Macleod, Alta.,… Continue reading

Hundreds turn up at Coldest Night of Year walk in Red Deer

It wasn’t the coldest night of the year, which probably helped the… Continue reading

Police in Saskatoon shoot two dogs that attacked man, then advanced on officers

SASKATOON — Police in Saskatoon say officers had to open fire at… Continue reading

13-year-old Maskwacis teen missing

Maskwacis RCMP are asking for public assistance to locate 13-year-old Rebecca Soosay.… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: The 8 best quality online stores! Shop the ultimate sales

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Feb. 19 A Liberation of Holland event is being held at the… Continue reading

Wranglers win wild Game 1 double OT thriller over Red Deer Vipers

The best-of-seven series continues Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Kings and Queens basketball triumph over Ambrose, keep playoff hopes alive

Guard Sandra Garica-Bernal sets new Queens all-time steals mark

Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world in the coming week

TORONTO — Five things to watch for in the Canadian business world… Continue reading

View of a longtime economist: Slower growth but no recession

WASHINGTON — In this high-profile election year, the U.S. economy boasts an… Continue reading

Amy, chasing: Klobuchar, already beating odds, faces uphill climb

WASHINGTON — It’s been a running gag ever since she launched her… Continue reading

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s attorney general hopes an inquiry into money laundering… Continue reading

Russian spy case documents missing or destroyed, Canada’s info watchdog finds

OTTAWA — Federal officials lost or possibly destroyed sensitive records about the… Continue reading

Most Read