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Highways near Fort McMurray busy with wildfire evacuees

Flames and smoke border roads as parts of Fort McMurray region evacuates

Highways north of Lac La Biche are expected to be congested over the next hours and days as residents in areas of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray have been told to evacuate from the possible path of an out-of-control wildfire.

RCMP and local municipal peace officers are expected to be providing assistance along Highway 63 and 881.

The fire, which Alberta Wildfire officials on Tuesday afternoon were saying was as close as 15 kilometres from the southern city boundaries of Fort McMurray, has burned upwards of 11,000 hectares of forest and wildland. With forecasted winds blowing from the south, RMWB officials announced evacuation orders on Tuesday afternoon for several communities and neighbourhoods around the city that is about 300 kilometres north of Lac La Biche.

The Lac La Biche community is one of the designated evacuation centres for people fleeing the fire.

The Lac La Biche POST newsroom has contacted local RCMP for information on road conditions and travel restrictions. Updates on police involvement will be made available when they are received.

No northbound traffic to Fort McMurray

At 3:30 pm, Mounties and RMWB officials announced that northbound traffic on Highway 63 to Fort McMurray has been halted. Highway 881 that runs from Fort McMurray to Lac  La Biche remains open as an alternate route for evacuees.


Images sent to the Lac La Biche POST newsroom from evacuees, show fire and smoke along the southbound roadsides. Southbound exit routes are still open on Highway 63 and Highway 881.

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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