A Level 6 wildfire is currently burning through northern Alberta. As a result, 4,000 people, including 750 from the Bushe River Reserve and the entire town of High Level, have been forced to evacuate their homes.

No injuries have been reported, and weather predictions show encouraging signs of winds that will blow the fire northwest, which is good news for those who have been evacuated.

However, the fire has had a major impact on everyone, including the AUPE members in the region. We have listened to your many concerns from needing to arrange for medical care to not knowing if you will be paid on time, and we are working to get answers for you.

Here are updates that are available as of today:

• Full-time, part-time, and casual AHS employees will continue to be paid based on regularly scheduled shifts, including picked up shifts and shift premiums, until May 27.
• Sheriffs and other enforcement workers providing services in the area will have the proper personal protective and respiratory protective equipment, and there will also be two worksite health and safety consultants on site.

We are working on behalf of all affected AUPE members to address your concerns. There will be more updates to come when we receive answers.

Be safe. Our thoughts and solidarity are with everyone affected by this emergency.