(CNN)Nearly 5,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in northern Alberta, Canada, to escape a monstrous blaze that has reached nearly 230,000 acres, officials in the province said.
Wildfires force nearly 5,000 Canadians out of their homes as firefighters continue to battle growing blazes
The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire, burning in Mackenzie County just two miles south of the town of High Level, has been torching ground for more than two days. It is just one of a "number of out-of-control wildfires" burning in the province.
"Lock doors and windows, take small personal belongings including pets, identification, medication cash," the provincial government said in an emergency alert. "Within your homes please ensure all fuel and gas appliances are shut off, and hot water tanks are turned down if able to."
Residents should be prepared to be away from home for at least 72 hours, officials said.
Weather conditions weren't favorable for firefighters: There is no rain forecast for the next week and winds were 10 to 15 mph on Wednesday, with gusts over 20 mph possible.
Mandatory evacuations are in effect for the town of High Level and the Dene Tha' First Nation communities of Bushe River and Meander River. The community of Chateh is under an evacuation alert, with high-risk individuals being evacuated.
The town of Slave Lake, where four new wildfires began Tuesday, also is on high alert. Three of the fires had been extinguished and one was "being held," officials said. The city's hotels are packed with evacuees fleeing the fire in High Level.
"The wildfire danger remains extreme for the Slave Lake Forest Area," the government said.
The wildfire is a level 6 out of 6 on the fire intensity scale, "meaning that the fire is jumping crown to crown of trees," Premier Jason Kenney said during a fire update.