Drivers can now gas up after power shut down in High Level wildfire fight

The Chuckegg Creek wildfire prompted an evacuation of High Level, AB. Alberta Wildfire photo
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Drivers can now gas up in Fort Vermilion, after a power outage Monday in Alberta’s Mackenzie County prevented gas stations in the county from supplying fuel.

The NWT’s Department of Infrastructure warned drivers Monday they wouldn’t have any options for gas between Hay River and Red Earth, a 630-kilometre stretch. The department’s regional superintendent for the South Slave Greg Whitlock says the power is back on and drivers can now get gas at Fort Vermillion, a 390-kilometre stretch from Hay River on Highway 88.

The Town of High Level is under an evacuation order issued Monday afternoon, due to a 920-square-kilometre (92,000 hectare) fire burning three kilometres southwest of the town. The fire is classified as out of control and is being fought by 89 firefighters along with 24 helicopters and three waterbombers according to a tweet by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Whitlock says drivers will likely be re-routed through Highways 58 and onto 88, adding the wildfire situation is ‘very active’ and drivers should be ready for delays. Up-to-date road conditions are available at 511 Alberta.

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“Plan accordingly and there could be potential delays if the fire situation does take a turn for the worse and come back towards the community. At this stage there are no travel issues but just be aware that conditions could change.”

Whitlock says there is no concern with commercial trucks heading to the NWT with food and other goods, as the trucks usually take the less-travelled Highway 88 route and carry plenty of gas.

“For goods and supplies coming up to the Northwest Territories there is absolutely no concerns at this time.”

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