Homes being evacuated in central Alberta after wildfire jumps highway

The hamlet of Marlboro in central Alberta and nearby homes are being evacuated as an out-of-control wildfire encroaches on the community.

RCMP said homes are being evacuated on both the north and south sides of Highway 16, as several homes are at risk.

The wildfire has jumped the highway — which is impassable, RCMP said — and is burning on both sides.

A reception centre has been set up for those who have to flee their homes at the Best Western Hotel in Edson at 300 52nd Street. 

The wildfire near Marlboro, Alta., has jumped Highway 16, according to RCMP. (Stephanie Pollard)

Drivers are being advised to avoid the area due to smoke and zero visibility.

Susan Longmore, of the Medicine Lodge Rodeo west of Marlboro, says they’ve opened up space in their arena and back pens for animals that need shelter.

According to the Alberta wildfire website, the blaze covered 15 hectares as of 4:45 p.m. MT on Sunday.

Marlboro is a hamlet located 25 kilometres west of Edson, and 225 kilometres west of Edmonton, on the Yellowhead Highway.

The wildfire danger in much of northern Alberta was rated as extreme on Sunday, with the risk rated as high to very high in the central-west part of the province.

Fire bans are in place in northern Alberta, and the Edson forest area is under a fire advisory as winds and dry conditions were expected to cause the risk of wildfire to increase.

Another out-of-control fire is raging west of High Level.

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