Wildfires

NWT-Alberta travel: Fuel easier to come by as power restored


The restoration of power to northern Alberta communities means fuel is now increasingly available, following a warning for drivers not to travel through the area earlier this week.

On Monday, following a wildfire-related evacuation order in High Level, the NWT government recommended nobody make the trip from the NWT through northern Alberta to the south.

At the time, power outages in the area meant a 600-km stretch of highway existed with no reliable fuel supply.

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However, power had been restored by supplier Atco by late Tuesday, and fuel is now more readily available in the northern Alberta communities of Fort Vermilion and La Crete.

Even so, travel in the region is subject to severe delays. Travellers are told to be aware conditions could change.

Highway 35 south of High Level remains closed due to the nearby wildfire, while the intersection of Highways 58 and 88 – along the diversion route – could see congestion and visibility affected by smoke, the Alberta government warned.

High Level and the nearby Bushe River First Nation have been under an evacuation order since Monday, with residents warned to plan for at least three days away from home.

By Wednesday afternoon, a shift in the wind was said to be helping firefighters and pushing the fire away from High Level.

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However, local authorities stressed significant danger remained and the evacuation order would stay in place.

With hotel rooms in Slave Lake full, people needing accommodation were being directed toward High Prairie.

A few dozen evacuees, many from Meander River – where a voluntary evacuation order is in place – have arrived in the South Slave since the start of the week.

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