A giant fireball is seen as a wild fire rips through the forest 16 km south of Fort McMurray, Alberta on highway 63 on May 7, 2016. Canadians seeking updates on public emergencies will soon have to look no further than their mobile phones. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Fire and ice: Evacuation orders lifted as cooler weather hits Alberta

As the weather helps firefighters in the north, it’s causing bad driving conditions in the south

Several evacuation alerts have been lifted as cooler weather has made it easier for crews to battle forest fires in northern Alberta.

Alerts for the town of Slave Lake and several other communities in the area were lifted this morning.

Officials say rain in the last 48 hours has helped ease the hazard on the south end of the McMillan fire, which is burning about 32 kilometres northeast of Slave Lake.

As the weather helps firefighters in the north, it’s causing bad driving conditions in the south.

Environment Canada meteorologist Kyle Fougere says there’s a report of about 25 centimetres of snow northwest of Cochrane, Alta.

The snowfall in southwestern Alberta turns to rain north of Red Deer, and that tapers off closer to High Level, where the Chuckegg Creek fire is still burning out of control.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for some areas of Mackenzie County, the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, parts of the Municipal District of Opportunity and the Peerless Trout First Nation.

The Canadian Press

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