May 23, 2023

A month of Fires and Resilience

Yellowhead County Wildfire Update – May 23, 2023
(May 23, 2023 – Yellowhead County, AB) Over the past 25 days, Yellowhead County has been dealing with multiple large wildfires. Combined, these fires have impacted more than 232,000 ha in communities across the County.
Several areas have been evacuated over this time, with some communities having to evacuate more than once. Devastatingly, there have been homes and other structures lost and damaged by the wildfires. Yellowhead County thanks everyone for their strength and resilience throughout this situation.
Today at 3:00 p.m., it was announced to residents that were in the evacuation zone near Shiningbank Lake that residents could return home at 4:00 p.m. today (May 23rd).
Residents from west of the McLeod River will no longer be under an evacuation alert upon their return. Residents east of the McLeod River will remain on a 30-minute evacuation notice in case conditions change. These areas will only allow local traffic to enter due to the active wildfire and the hazards that currently exist in the area, such as dangerous trees and potentially downed power poles.
The recent change in weather, including some much-needed precipitation, has the many crews and organizations working in the wildfire complexes feeling cautiously optimistic. They will continue to make strategic decisions to take as much advantage of these conditions as they can.
Structural protection will be removed from some areas in Yellowhead County over the next week. This will only be done in areas where crews are confident that it is safe to remove. It is important to have this equipment available for areas that need it.
Do not tamper with, move, or remove firefighting equipment that is strategically placed throughout the County. Doing so will not only hamper firefighting efforts, but it can also result in theft and/or mischief charges, which are serious offences under the criminal code and can result in a criminal record.
Yellowhead County would also like to request the cooperation of residents when it comes to the safety of our crews, staff, and for residents themselves. Drive safely and for conditions, and be aware that crews will be in areas throughout the County. Treat these crews with respect and kindness when you see them. Harassment will not be tolerated.
Thank you to the fire crews from across North America, as well as the many staff members who have worked tirelessly throughout this situation. Yellowhead County thanks those residents who have worked alongside us, those who have stepped up to help their friends and neighbours, and those who have continued to show cooperation and kindness throughout this difficult time.
The wildfire situation in Yellowhead County is not over, but our teams continue to do all we can to protect our residents and communities. For the most up-to-date information on the wildfires, visit
All important updates will be posted on and on our Facebook page Those with evacuation-related questions can call 1-833-334-4630 (only active during the emergency).