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Alberta

Update 19: Northwest Alberta wildfires (June 12 at 5 p.m.)

Published

June 12, 2019

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Bigstone Cree Nation and the Hamlets of Wabasca-Desmarais, Sandy Lake and Chipewyan Lake. More than 3,700 people are now able to return home.

To date, more than 9,800 evacuees from the following communities have been approved to return home:

  • High Level
  • Mackenzie County
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation
  • County of Northern Lights, south of Twin Lakes Campground including Notikewin
  • Marten Beach (MD of Lesser Slave Lake)
  • Keg River/Carcajou
  • Peerless and Trout Lake communities
  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
  • Municipal District of Opportunity 17
    • Hamlet of Wabasca-Desmarais
    • Hamlet of Sandy Lake
    • Hamlet of Chipewyan Lake

Evacuees returning received re-entry packages with advice on what to do when they arrived home.

Evacuees can find tips on re-entry by visiting https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx. Information includes making sure all your utilities are working, cleaning up and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.

Approximately 700 evacuees are displaced due to a mandatory evacuation order for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement.

The following communities remain on evacuation alert:

  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
  • Hamlet of Wabasca-Desmarais
  • Hamlet of Sandy Lake
  • Hamlet of Chipewyan Lake
  • County of Northern Lights
    • North of Township Road 910 to the north county border, including the Twin Lakes Campground, Keg River, Carcajou and the Town of Manning

Current situation:

  • Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 269,648 hectares.
  • Jackpot Creek wildfire, approximately 11 kilometres north of Lutose, is about 28,167 hectares.
  • McMillan Wildfire Complex, southwest of Bigstone Cree Nation, is more than 263,969 hectares.
  • Battle Wildfire Complex in Peace River is about 55,179 hectares.
  • There are more than 2,000 wildland and structural firefighters and staff, approximately 159 helicopters and 22 air tankers and 233 pieces of heavy equipment on these fires.
  • Check Alberta Emergency Alerts for more detailed and frequently updated information.
  • People driving in fire-affected areas should carry enough fuel, as it may not be readily available.
  • Be cautious of organizations not registered to solicit donations. For information on how you can help, visit https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx.

Visit alberta.ca/emergency for detailed and frequently updated information.

Air quality

Financial supports

  • Evacuees should check alberta.ca/emergency for updates on evacuation payment eligibility.
  • Evacuees in need of financial assistance for immediate needs can apply for an Income Support program emergency needs allowance. This benefit may cover your accommodation, clothing and other urgent needs. Please call 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
    • were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • were forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
    • were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order – current communities include:
      • High Level
      • Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement
      • Bushe River
      • Chateh
      • Meander River
      • Wabasca-Desmarais
      • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
      • Sandy Lake
      • Chipewyan Lake Village
      • Keg River
      • Carcajou
      • Northern border of the County of Northern Lights to Township Road 922 (Notikewin Road)
      • Steen River
      • Trout Lake
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 and $500 for each dependent child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given.
  • Application methods:
  • Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smartphone, device or desktop. Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to process.
  • All payment distribution centres are now closed.
  • If you need help applying, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest centre: Toll free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) In-person: Find an Alberta Supports Centre.
  • More than 11,400 individuals have received evacuee support totaling close to $11.6 million.

Reception and call centres

  • All evacuees should register with an evacuation reception centre, even if you’ve found alternate accommodations.
  • Reception centres are assisting evacuees either in person and/or by phone:
    • Grande Prairie – 780-567-5587
    • Peace River Town Hall (9911 100 Street) – 780-624-2574
    • Wabasca-Desmarais Lakeview Sports Centre (102 Opportunity Drive) – 780-891-2659
    • Dene Wellness Centre – 1-867-874-2652
  • Evacuation reception centre hours can be found at alberta.ca/emergency.
  • The Government of Alberta contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 310-4455.

Highway updates

  • To stay informed on all road closures due to the wildfires, visit 511.Alberta.ca or download the mobile app.

Insurance information

  • Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for living expenses during an evacuation.
  • Evacuees should retain all of their receipts for food, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer.
  • Albertans can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information about insurance coverage is available online at ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Justice and legal matters

  • Community Corrections and Release operations have resumed in High Level.
  • High Level Court is open.
  • Chateh Court matters will be heard in High Level Court until further notice. Call 780-926-3715 for inquiries.
  • Fort Vermilion Court matters have resumed. Call 780-926-3715 for inquiries.
  • Wabasca-Desmarais matters will continue to be held in High Prairie until further notice. Call the High Prairie Court at 780-523-6600 regarding any matters scheduled.

Education

  • The schools of Fort Vermilion School Division will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Students wishing to write a diploma exam, Grade 6 or Grade 9 provincial achievement tests should make arrangements with the Fort Vermilion School Division. For further information visit: fvsd.ab.ca.
  • School officials in fire-impacted areas will address the impacts of disruption on the academic program and school year. Students or their guardians should watch for online or direct communications from local school authorities about specific changes.

Provincial park closures

  • All provincial parks that were temporarily closed due to the threat of fire have reopened.
  • Calling Lake Provincial Park campground is currently supporting evacuees. The boat launch in Calling Lake remains open.
  • Current information about fire bans, restrictions and closures in provincial parks and campgrounds is available at http://www.albertaparks.ca/

Boil water advisory

  • A boil water advisory is in place for Meander River (Dene Tha’ First Nation).

Health

  • Wabasca-Desmarais Healthcare Centre is now open.
  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour help line at 1-877-303-2642, the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322, or Health Link at 811.
  • The Northwest Health Centre in High Level is open.
  • Alberta Health Services is providing enhanced addiction and mental health services to help residents in High Level following the evacuation.
  • New, temporary walk-in services for individuals experiencing addiction and mental health concerns are available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mental Health Clinic at Northwest Health Centre in High Level. For more information, please call the clinic directly at 780-841-3229.
  • Alberta Health Services has relocated acute patients and continuing care residents from La Crete and Fort Vermilion to health facilities in Edmonton and surrounding communities.
  • The emergency department at St. Theresa General Hospital in Fort Vermilion remains open. 

Pets and livestock

  • High Level animal control has collected household pets that have been left behind. For questions regarding your pets, please call 780-926-2201.
  • For evacuees in the Wabasca area, please fill out an online form on the Alberta Animal Disaster Response Facebook group, or text 403-869-4964 and provide your name, contact number, number of animals missing, where they were last seen, and a brief description of your pet.
  • The County of Northern Lights will allow residents to enter property to look after livestock between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Residents must first go to the county office to register for the temporary access pass.

Electricity and natural gas billing

  • High Level and area residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity and natural gas customers will not be billed for the period covered by the evacuation order.

Donations and volunteers

  • High Level is not accepting donations or volunteers at this time.
  • The Town of Slave Lake has set up an online form for offers.
  • Check the Mackenzie County Facebook page for an up-to-date list of donations needed and drop-off locations.
  • There have been reports that local residents in High Level are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
  • When asked for donations (either over the phone, through an e-mail, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta: 1-877-427-4088.

Canada Post

  • Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
  • Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Other income and social supports

  • Evacuees who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or Income Support benefits by cheque should contact their worker to make arrangements to receive it.
  • Call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday if you:
    • need information on other social supports
    • are a contracted service provider, family member or individual needing assistance through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program
  • For information on child intervention and child care, call 1-800-638-0715
  • Employment insurance: evacuees can visit Service Canada online to apply at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html. Use code 4812014812201900.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card call 780-427-1432 or toll free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, identification cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Related information

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Alberta

Search for missing man last seen at Red Deer hotel expands

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on

Missing Man

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is seeking public assistance in relation to the disappearance of Abdikadir TUKHOV, who was reported missing in December 2016.

Abdikadir TUKHOV, 43, of Calgary was reported missing by friends on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. He was last seen on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, leaving a residence in the community of Abbeydale.

Police have exhausted all footprints of life and as a result of new information from members of community, TUKHOV’s disappearance is considered suspicious. Friends also believe that TUKHOV may have been met with foul play.

TUKHOV lived a transient lifestyle and spent time in Calgary, Grand Prairie, Edmonton and Red Deer. It is believed he worked as a taxi driver in Grand Prairie prior to his disappearance.

Investigators are seeking public assistance to identify a man and a woman seen with TUKHOV at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel (previously the Sheraton Red Deer), located at 3310 50 Ave., Red Deer, in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Police believe they may have information about TUKHOV’s disappearance or his activities prior to his disappearance.

A photo of TUKHOV with the man and woman is available above.

The woman is described as 25 to 40, with an average build with brown hair.

The man is described as 30 to 45, with an average build. He can be seen wearing a hat in the photo.

“We know that people in the community have information about Abdikadir’s disappearance,” says Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit. “Abdikadir left behind a wife and two children and we ask that anyone who has information come forward so that we can provide closure to his friends and family. Even what seems like the most insignificant information can sometimes be enough to help detectives solve a case.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Calgary Police Service Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. They may also contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TEXT: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

Case # 16660072/4110

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Alberta

Million-Dollar Cocaine Seizure Made in Edmonton

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on

From ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Edmonton… Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine has been seized after ALERT conducted search warrants at two Edmonton homes. ALERT seized over 11 kilograms of cocaine and 84 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent.

ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime team made the seizure on June 8, 2019, and one person was arrested. The Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs provided assistance.

ALERT alleges that an apartment in the Pembina neighbourhood was being used to package and press cocaine. That is where investigators located 84 kilograms of the cocaine buffing agent Phenacetin – one of the largest seizures of its kind by ALERT.

Phenacetin is a cutting agent used to dilute the purity of cocaine in order to maximize profits. It was banned in Canada in 1973 due to its carcinogenic and kidney-damaging properties.

The total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $1.4 million and includes:

11.37 kilograms of cocaine;
84 kilograms of Phenacetin;
902 grams of ketamine; and
$15,465 cash.

A 26-year-old Edmonton man was arrested. Mihnea Vasiu has been charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

Vasiu became known to ALERT after he was observed meeting with targets in previous investigations.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

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