With the Chuckegg Creek fire continuing to burn, officials are worried that a forecasted shift in the way the winds blow could exacerbate the blaze.
Located just several kilometres southwest of the town of High Level, AB, the Chuckegg Creek fire currently burns an area of over 1,000 square kilometres of land. While firefighting crews have managed to prevent the fire from reaching the township, there are concerns that the winds – together with other ill-timed weather conditions – could make controlling the wildfire even more difficult.
“We’re looking at very challenging firefighting conditions. We’ve got extremely low humidity. We’ve got high temperatures and we’re looking at gusting winds that could change speed and direction,” Alberta Wildfire information unit lead Christie Tucker told CTV News.
About 5,000 people were evacuated from the area due to the fire.
Tucker added that the weather could also worsen other wildfires happening in the province. At least four were designated as “out of control.”
“Wind is very, very important when fighting any kind of wildfire. It really changes how far the fire can travel and which direction it goes,” the representative explained.
Crews have been brought in to conduct controlled burns in the region to control the wildfires, as well as to create barriers.