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UPDATE: Lac La Biche County not sure yet on number of possible fire evacuees

Emergency situation is fluid with planning ongoing for evacuation

Within an hour of a fire evacuation alert going out to some residents in the Fort McMurray area, sending them to evacuation centres in Lac La Biche County, officials in that community are preparing for what may come.

"Lac La Biche County has been selected by the Province as a reception/registration centre for Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) evacuees currently under evacuation order," confirmed Lac La Biche County's manager of communications Jihad Moghrabi.

The evacuation order to residents of Wood Buffalo and the Fort McMurray area was issued as a 7,000 hectare wildfire continues to burn out of control about 20 kilometres south of the Fort McMurray. Weather forecasts show that winds blowing from the southeast could send the fire towards populated areas of the northern city and surrounding communities. 

Three hundred kilometres south, Lac La Biche County councillors were in a regular council meeting when the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo issued the evacuation order for residents in several outlying communities and neighbourhoods of the city. Emergency management officials in Lac La Biche County were expected to brief councillors on the plans throughout the afternoon.

Moghrabi said for now, there is no exact number of how many people may be part of the evacuation, saying the situation is fluid and information will be released when it is available. 

"The number of evacuees that we’ll be receiving is unknown at this time," Moghrabi told Lakeland This Week.  "We will provide updates as more information becomes available."





Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
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