As Indian Cabins residents evacuate, GNWT could close southbound traffic on Highway 1

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A mandatory evacuation order was issued for residents of Indian Cabins and its surrounding areas Monday as out-of-control wildfires continue to burn in northern Alberta.

Residents were ordered to leave immediately and travel north, to the Northwest Territories, via Highway 35.

“All evacuees must contact Mackenzie County to register at 780-927-3718,” the Alberta government told residents.

They are being asked to bring medication, blankets, sleeping bags, personal items and identification if possible.

Indian Cabins is located roughly 150 kilometres north of High Level, which was evacuated for about two weeks in May when a wildfire threatened the town.

Department of Infrastructure considers closing Highway 1

Southbound traffic on Highway 1 between Enterprise and the Alberta border could be closed in a matter of hours, announced the Department of Infrastructure at noon today.

Highway 1 – which turns into Highway 35 in Alberta – was closed for several days in May due to the Steen River wildfire.

The highway remained open as of Monday at 5:30 p.m.

Territory wakes to smoke from Alberta wildfires

This morning, residents of the southern parts of the territory woke up to grey skies and a strong burning smell in the air as smoke from Alberta wildfires drifted north.

In the early hours of June 17, Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the Hay River region, including Enterprise.

“Wildfire smoke is expected to cause poor air quality and reduced visibility at times into Tuesday,” reads the statement from Environment Canada.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” it reads. “If you, or someone in your care, develop symptoms, reduce strenuous outdoors activities where ever possible until the air quality improves.”

If your breathing becomes uncomfortable when outdoors, reduce physical activity. If you experience irritation of the eyes, nose or throat, shortness of breath or other respiratory distress, you should take steps to reduce your exposure to smoke, the statement said.

Though Environment Canada has not issued a statement for the North Slave, a prediction map from FireSmoke.ca indicates the smoke will continue to flow north into Tuesday.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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