Over the next few days and weeks, we will continue to keep you informed through our website and Facebook page. We have also set up an email address, should you have any wildfire questions at [email protected].
Please be aware that Big Lakes County Fire Services and Alberta Wildfires are still actively fighting the fires. The County will be conducting an assessment of fire affected structures and will have more information regarding any damage or losses in the coming days. Please do not drive over any inflated hose lines or interfere with any equipment that is set up. This is still an active fire, and the State of Local Emergency remains in place. While weather conditions have improved, please be on alert for any weather changes, as the situation could change quickly. If you spot fire flare ups on your property, please call 310-FIRE IMMEDIATELY.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an evacuation alert?
Residents must be PREPARED to evacuate their property should an evacuation order be issued.
What is an evacuation order?
Residents must evacuate their property immediately and go to the reception centre.
Who do I call if I spot a fire?
Please contact 310-FIRE.
What do I do if I spot smoke?
You may see smoke as a result of wildfires. Smoke will linger over the coming days and weeks.
Call HealthLink at 811 if you are experiencing difficulty breathing.
Is there a Fire Ban?
For the most up to date information on the current wildfire status please visit Alberta Fire Bans.
Has my house burned down?
Fire Services are conducting an assessment of fire affected structures. Updates will be available as information is received.
Mental Health Resources
Lifeworks Supports have activated the Community Crisis Support Line. The Crisis Support Line is open 24/7 and can be reached at 1-844-751-2133. By calling, individuals will receive professional emotional support and/or referral to community resources. This resource is available to anyone in Canada.
Are the Transfer Stations and Regional Landfill open?
Yes. Please click here for the Transfer Stations and Regional Landfill locations.
What am I going to do with the spoiled food in my fridge?
Please bag and dispose of spoiled food just like regular household garbage. Click here to view all transfer stations.
How do I dispose of my fridge and freezer?
Remove all the food items from the appliances. The spoiled food can be bagged and disposed of like regular garbage. Appliances should be hauled out directly to the Regional Landfill but Transfer Stations will accept empty fridges and freezers.
How do I dispose of burned scrap metals?
Burned vehicles, metal clad buildings, farm implements or any other scrap metal materials can all be brought to the Regional Landfill. Transfer sites will not accept them. Another option is to have a scrap metal recycler pick up these materials directly.
Is there a cost for the disposal of fire related waste at the Regional Landfill?
If the fire related waste is part of an insurance claim, you must pay for the disposal out of pocket and be reimbursed through your insurance company.
If the fire related waste is not part of an insurance claim, you must make it clear to the scale attendant that it is not part of an insurance claim and it will be charged to Big Lakes County Fire Services related waste account. This account will only be available until 5pm May 31, 2023.
When disposing of waste please ensure that the waste is separated and sorted according to type: metals/wood/household waste/e-waste/concrete.
For any other information please contact the Big Lakes County Solid Waste department at 780-523-5955.
How do I safely dispose of ashes?
Ashes need to be cold and will only be accepted at the Regional Landfill.
Transfer Stations will not accept ash for two reasons:
1) they may reignite in the bin causing a fire
2) ash is much denser and heavier than standard household waste and if the load is unbalanced, the truck cannot transport the bin safely
How do I dispose of smoke damaged or burned items?
Smoke damaged items cannot be placed in the take it or leave it facilities. Large furniture items like couches, chairs, tables, shelving, dressers, and mattresses should be hauled out to the Regional Landfill for disposal. Smaller items like bedding, linens, window coverings and toys can be bagged and disposed of like regular garbage.
Is the High Prairie Health Complex open?
Please visit the AHS website for official media releases: Wildfire Resources | Alberta Health Services
Are the schools open?
Please visit the school division websites below for more updates and contact information.
High Prairie School Division: Home – High Prairie School Division (hpsd.ca)
Northlands School Division: Home | Northland School Division (nsd61.ca)
Holy Family School Division: HFCRD – Holy Family Catholic Regional Divison Holy Family Catholic Regional Division
Who do I contact regarding damaged road signs or other County infrastructure?
Please contact our Public Works department at [email protected].
Who do I contact if my machinery burned?
If your home and infrastructure was affected by the wildfires, here are some steps to take to claim damages through insurance:
- Call your insurance representative as soon as possible. Most companies have 24-hour claims service.
- Details are critical. Provide as much information as possible about the circumstances and damage. Take photographs if it is safe to do so.
- If your home is unfit to live in, ask your insurer about the expenses you may be entitled to, and for how long. Keep all receipts and invoices for additional living expenses after your loss.
- A claims specialist or adjuster (who is paid by your insurance company) will contact you to investigate the circumstance of the loss, examine documentation and explain the next steps. He or she also:
- Determines the facts related to the claim and the extent of what is covered by your insurance policy.
- Attempts to reach an agreement with any other people involved about the amount of their loss and extent of their responsibility.
- Your insurance company will ask you to complete and return a proof of loss form after the incident. If any of the statements you make on the form are untrue, your insurance and claim may be voided. This form lists the property and/or items that were damaged or lost, and their estimated value or cost. On the form, you will be asked to:
- Make a complete list of all damaged, destroyed or stolen items. Attach proofs of purchase, receipts, police reports, owner’s manuals and warranty, if possible.
- Attach photos of damaged items. Keep damaged items unless they are dangerous or a health hazard. A current home inventory can help if you experience a loss.
- Sign and swear that the statements you make in the proof of loss are true.
- Review your policy and become familiar with specified deductibles, coverage limits and replacement values.
- If you make a claim, the amount you receive will depend on the type of coverage you bought.
- Insurance companies have three options for your damaged or stolen items:
- Your policy requires that you take all necessary steps to limit further damage.
- Ask your insurance representative if you can hire a contractor or supplier of your choice to do repairs. If so, discuss the costs. Make sure the contractor or supplier respects the price and specifications that you and your insurer agree on.
If you had to evacuate your home, the Insurance Bureau of Canada recommends that you keep receipts for expenses such as food, clothing and lodging.
Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for evacuation costs. Contact your insurance provider for more information.
Who do I contact if I’ve lost livestock?
If your livestock is missing, please contact Butch Harriss, Brand Inspector with Livestock Investigation Services at 403-783-0421.