Wildfires have forced more than 9,000 people from homes in northern Alberta

A firefighter extinguishes hotspots beside Highway 35 just south of the town of High Level, Alta., on May 25, 2019. Wildfires have forced more people from their homes in northern Alberta. Evacuation orders were issued overnight for the hamlet of Le Crete and other rural properties and reserves in the High Level area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Government of Alberta, Chris Schwarz, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

HIGH LEVEL, Alta. - Advancing flames of a wildfire have forced the evacuation of the hamlet of La Crete in northern Alberta.

"The wildfire is advancing quickly," reads a message on the Mackenzie County Facebook page Tuesday night.

"Everyone in the area must immediately evacuate. Crews will be going door to door. Please notify your neighbour."

There was no immediate word on how many people are affected by the order to leave.

But officials say more than 9,000 people have been forced from their homes due to out of control wildfires in the region.

The swelling numbers follow mandatory evacuation orders for communities including the Beaver First Nation, Dene Tha' First Nation, other parts of Mackenzie County and the Peerless Trout First Nation.

People in other communities remain on evacuation alert and could be told to leave quickly if the wildfire situation gets worse.

These communities include High Level, parts of the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River, Bigstone Cree Nation and the hamlets of Wabasca-Desmerais, Sandy Lake and Chipewyan Lake.

The province says the 9,000 number includes about 700 people from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement who had to leave the community on May 26.

The Chuckegg Creek, Jackpot Creek and McMillan complex wildfires together cover an area of about 6,750 square kilometres.

About 4,000 High Level residents who were forced to flee their homes last month were only recently allowed back.

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