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Aerial assets continue assault on Alberta fires

May 16, 2012, Edmonton - Crews are working all-out to try to keep an unpredictable wildfire from spreading in east-central Alberta.


May 16, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Residents from 12 homes have left the area around Forsythe Lake, which is under a voluntary evacuation order.

Geoffrey Driscoll of Alberta Environment says one house is threatened and firefighters are doing whatever they can — including the use of sprinklers — to keep it safe.

Diane Jenkinson with the Municipal District of Bonnyville says a reception centre was set up Tuesday night for evacuees, but it didn't see much use.

She says most people stayed with friends or relatives.

The fire is one of three burning in the province: there's an out-of-control blaze in the Grasslands area north of Edmonton and another fire that is being held near Lodgepole southwest of the city.

Driscoll says more than 300 firefighters are working in the province right now to beat back the flames. One-third are concentrating on the Forsythe Lake fire alone.

"We have over 100 firefighters as well as heavy equipment like bulldozers and air tankers and helicopters on the fire, so they're going to work … all throughout the day to try to fight it as fast as they can.''

Jenkinson said Wednesday a decision would be made later in the day as to whether the evacuees could go home.