County officials say the risk of a brush fire spreading north of Edmonton is extreme because of hot, dry weather and gusting winds.

A major concern is that the winds will carry embers and sparks beyond fire guards that have been built to try to contain the blaze near Opal.

“At present we’ve had to evacuate six residences within the northeastern portion of the county where Thorhild, Westlock and Sturgeon County all meet,” said Sturgeon County spokesperson Calli Stromner. “The six evacuations were precautionary only.”

Stromner said fire crews on the ground have been in contact with residents in the area over the whole weekend to ensure they were aware of the situation and ready to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

The fire, which began last Wednesday, remains at 30 square kilometres, but is out of control.

Fire departments continue to protect homes at risk with sprinkler systems. Bulldozers, helicopters, air tankers and just over 200 firefighters are at the scene.

Temperatures in the Edmonton area are forecast to reach 30 C.
with files from the Canadian Press