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Alberta

High Level Fire Update

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From the Province of Alberta

Update 1: Northwest Alberta wildfire (May 21 at 4:50 p.m.)

Wildfire efforts continue near High Level in Mackenzie County. States of local emergency remain in effect, with residents under a mandatory evacuation order.

Current situation

  • The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire is burning approximately five kilometres south of the Town of High Level within Mackenzie County.
  • This out-of-control wildfire is almost 80,000 hectares.
  • Alberta Wildfire, Alberta Emergency Management Agency and local authorities are cooperating in the response.
  • Alberta Wildfire has about 90 firefighters and staff on the ground, supported by 25 helicopters, air tankers, 10 structural protection units and heavy machinery.
  • Hot and dry conditions in northern Alberta are forecast to continue for the foreseeable future, with the fire danger expected to increase.
  • Evacuation orders are in place for the Town of High Level and parts of Mackenzie County south of High Level.
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation declared an evacuation order for Bushe River and Meander River. Chateh is under an evacuation alert, with high-risk individuals being evacuated.
  • Approximately 5,000 people have been evacuated.

Registration centres

  • Registration centres are open at:
    • Slave Lake Legacy Centre (400 6 Avenue)
      • Hotels in Slave Lake are currently at capacity.
    • High Prairie Sports Palace (5409 49 Street)
    • Grande Prairie Regional College (10726 106 Avenue)
    • Peace River Misery Mountain Ski Hill (10408 89 Street)
    • La Crete Heritage Centre (25411 TWP RD 1060, south of La Crete)
  • Residents are asked to please check in with a registration centre, even if they are staying with family or friends, or finding alternate accommodations. You should also register with Red Cross online or by phone at 1-800-863-6582 to get help with urgent needs.

Highway closures

  • Highway 35 remains closed between five kilometres and 30 kilometres south of High Level. Highway 697 La Crete Ferry is identified as a detour. La Crete Ferry is operational with wait times of approximately one hour.
  • Highway 58 from High Level to approximately 90 kilometres from the junction with Range Road 45A remains closed.

Other information

  • High Level Court is closed. All scheduled Fort Vermilion matters will be heard in Peace River. Call 780-624-6256 if you’re unable to appear to register your name and phone number. Matters will be held by phone if necessary.
  • Alberta Health Services has issued a special air quality statement.

Detailed information is available on emergency.alberta.ca, which is updated frequently.

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Alberta

‘Even if no one is watching:’ Parade marshal named for cancelled Stampede

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CALGARY — Filipe Masetti Leite has spent a lot of alone time in the saddle criss-crossing countries on horseback over the last eight years.

The latest journey for the long rider — from Anchorage, Alaska, to Calgary — will be bittersweet when he completes it in one month.

But he’ll have a new title.

Masetti Leite has been named the 2020 Calgary Stampede’s parade marshal, even though the event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Masetti Leite was asked to take the job while still on his trek and before the health crisis shut down most of the world.

“To be named the Calgary Stampede parade marshal is the biggest honour of my life. I can’t wait to ride into Calgary on July 3, even if no one is watching,” Masetti Leite said in a news release.

“I’m finishing where I started. It’s a dream.”

Masetti Leite, 33, immigrated to Canada from Brazil when he was a teenager. In 2012, he began his first journey from Calgary and spent two years riding his two horses through 10 countries in North, Central and South America.

He covered about 16,000 kilometres before reaching his final destination: his home in Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo.

Masetti Leite, who has a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, began a second trip in 2016, which spanned 7,350 kilometres over 15 months and took him from Brazil to Patagonia.

His latest 3,500-kilometre trek from Alaska has him arriving in Calgary next month on the same day the Stampede was scheduled to begin.

Masetti Leite said he’s dedicating the remaining part of his ride to health-care workers around the world, who have worked tirelessly during the pandemic.

Despite the cancellation of this year’s edition of what is called the “Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth,” Stampede president Dana Peers said Masetti Leite was selected long before the world changed.

“The choice of Filipe Masetti Leite for the Calgary Stampede parade marshal has been many years in the making,” Peers said.

“He is proof Stampede parade marshals don’t just lead a parade; they exemplify western heritage, values and culture.”

A long rider is someone who has ridden more than 1,600 continuous kilometres on a single equestrian journey.

The inspiration for Masetti Leite came from a similar quest in 1925 by the original long rider, Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher, who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City and wrote about his experiences.

Masetti Leite has documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2020

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Calgary couple stranded in India by COVID-19 pandemic killed: family

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CALGARY — Family members say a Calgary couple stranded in India because of the COVID-19 pandemic were killed last weekend.

Kirpal Minhas, who was 67, and his wife Davinder, who was 65, were supposed to return the first week of April but their flight was cancelled.

Loved ones say the permanent residents were days from catching another flight to Canada when they were attacked in their home in the Punjab region on Saturday.

The couple’s son-in-law says local authorities told him three people overpowered the husband and stabbed him to death and that the wife was strangled.

Family say police have told them the caretaker of the home was arrested along with two other men, and that the motive was to get the couple’s money.

Global Affairs says it’s aware of the deaths, but cannot disclose any further information for privacy reasons. (CTV Calgary)

This report by The Canadian press was first published June 3, 2020

 

 

 

 

The Canadian Press

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june, 2020

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