Even though the noon deadline has passed, City of Yellowknife officials are still trying to persuade some residents to leave the city.
City Coun. Ben Hendriksen made the comment on his social media account at 2:25 p.m. Aug. 18.
“We are still working to convince people to leave,” he said, while providing an update on insurance claims available to evacuees.
All residents of Yellowknife were to be outside of the city by noon today. Flights are scheduled throughout the day with the corresponding registration centre located at Sir John Franklin High School. The GNWT says it has tracked 3,699 vehicles crossing the Deh Cho Bridge as of 8:45 a.m.
Yellowknife issued an evacuation order Aug. 16 after it was determined a nearby wildfire could potentially reach the city by the weekend. Residents have been given until noon on Aug. 18 to leave the city.
Free flights were flown out of Yellowknife to Calgary throughout the day to take people unable to evacuate by road, and bus services have also been made available. Hundreds of people lined up for the trip, filling planes to capacity and many more had to wait another day. People who are immunocompromised, have mobility issues or have other chronic health conditions were given priority.
Registration to fly out resumed at 6 a.m. Aug. 18. Flight schedules are being developed for the entire day and into Saturday, Aug. 19. Young said the Saturday flights were dependent on weather and safety.
Evacuees travelling by road are being asked to arrange their own accommodations where possible. Carpooling is encouraged to both reduce traffic and to assist those without a vehicle.
All evacuees are asked to register at a reception centre upon reaching their destination. Evacuees taken by air to Calgary will be transported to the local reception centre.
Here’s the latest information on reception centres as of 10 a.m. Aug. 18:
Reception centres for Yellowknife evacuees are as follows:
- Westin Calgary Airport, 671 Aero Drive NE
- Fox Creek Hall, 200 1st Street, Fox Creek
- Parkland Motels II, 10710 101 Ave, Lac la Biche – Health services are limited in this community.
- G.H. Dawe Community Centre, 6175 67 St, Red Deer
- Polar Palace Arena, 4429 52 Ave, Valleyview
- Allen and Jean Millar Centre, 58 Sunset Blvd, Whitecourt
- 5001 44 Ave, Fort Vermillion
- Edmonton EXPO Centre – Hall C, 7515 118 Ave NW
Evacuees from the South Slave, including Hay River, Enterprise, Fort Smith and K’atlodeeche First Nation are asked to travel to one of the following locations:
- Baytex Energy Centre: 9810 73 Ave, Peace River
- High Level Arena: 10101 105 Ave, High Level
Do not travel to Leduc, Fort McMurray, St. Albert or Grande Prairie as their reception centres are at full capacity. Anyone still in Hay River who needed to be flown out on Aug. 17 was flown to Lloydminster.
Kakisa residents are asked to inform the band office when leaving or if not possible to register at the reception centre in Fort Simpson. Jean Marie River residents have been evacuated to Fort Simpson.
People evacuating the NWT are also being offered free camping in all Province of Alberta maintained campgrounds. To do so, first register as an evacuee at a reception centre. Then phone the Alberta Parks Contact Centre at 1-877-537-2757 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be matched to a campsite for up to 10 consecutive days.