Wildfire danger 'extreme' in Slave Lake: Alberta Wildfire

WATCH ABOVE: Fire crews, including "firefighters, aircraft and heavy equipment," fought two wildfires in Alberta's Slave Lake Forest Area on May 18, according to Alberta Wildfire.

The wildfire danger in the Slave Lake Forest Area remained “extreme” on Sunday, the highest level on the fire weather index.

As of 10 a.m., Alberta Wildfire reported seven new wildfires. Two are considered out of control, one is being held, one is under control and three have been extinguished.

RELATED: Experts forecast wildfire danger increasing in parts of Western Canada

The elevated danger is due to “strong and gusty winds” that could cause a fire to burn intensely and spread quickly, according to Alberta Wildfire.

Since the beginning of March, there have been 54 wildfires in the Slave Lake Forest Area and over 1,300 hectares have burned.

The northern part of the province was under a combination of “extreme” and “very high” fire danger.

The Fort McMurray Forest Area was “extreme” south of Lake Athabasca and “very high” north of the lake. Both the Lac La Biche Forest Area and the Peace River Forest Area are under an “extreme” wildfire danger.

“Temperatures will continue to rise, and the relative humidity will drop over the weekend creating cross-over conditions. These conditions can cause fire to spread easily and quickly,” according to Alberta Wildfire.

Crews were battling two “out of control” wildfires along Highway 754 that were estimated to be 75 and 1,000 hectares in size.

The wildfires are located approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Wabasca, 30 kilometres northeast of Marten Beach and 40 kilometres northeast of Slave Lake.

“The winds are pushing the fires to the northwest. These fires are not threatening any communities,” Alberta Wildfire said.

Over 60 firefighters, five helicopters, along with heavy equipment and four airtankers are helping in the fire fight.

Smoke can be seen in the distance near Slave Lake as wildfires burn on Saturday.

Smoke can be seen in the distance near Slave Lake as wildfires burn on Saturday.

Courtesy: Lisa Whitney

READ MORE: Wildfire threat prompts Alberta to issue fire ban in northern part of province

A fire ban and off-highway vehicle restriction is in place for the northern regions of the Slave Lake Forest Area, most of the Peace River Forest Area, all of the High Level Forest Area, the Fort McMurray Forest Area south of Lake Athabasca and the Lac La Biche Forest Area.

For the latest status on wildfires, bans and restrictions in Alberta, click here.

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