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Regional fire chief Alex Pavcek was telling us that members of the LSLRFS helped out both at Fox Lake and East Prairie in the wildfire crises that both communities were facing in the first few days of May. Both communities were hit hard, losing homes and having to evacuate in a hurry. Getting into and out of Fox Lake was quite challenging, due to barge over the Peace River being pretty much the only way to do it. Chief Pavcek said the crew from Slave Lake had taken a trailer of equipment along, but when they got to the crossing they found it was too big to get on the boat!

Meanwhile, regular calls to the fire service kept happening all through those intense few days.

Don’t get too excited about those signs that recently went up, announcing paving for Hwy. 88. We have it on pretty good authority that the project is still years away. As such the signs are somewhat misleading, and may generate some unrealistic hopes. There was apparently a push to get them up ASAP, which can mean only one thing: it’s an election ploy. You read it here first.

So…. the message on the signs is accurate, in that yes, paving is coming. But best not get your hopes up too high on it happening anytime soon.

A recent CBC article was an interview with two women who are working to revitalize Mi’kmaw weaving in Newfoundland. Why would that be mentioned in The Leader? Well, the one woman, Megan Samms, received her first loom while working on a fire watch tower near Slave Lake a few years ago, so there’s the connection.

In other yarn news, June 10 is World-wide Knit in Public Day. Some of the local crocheters and knitters are organizing an event. Stay tuned for details.

May 8 to 12 was Nurses’ Week, so a big thank you to the licensed practical and registered nurses out there, who are so important to the health-care system.

May 4 was International Fire Fighters Day. Unfortunately most of the fighters in Alberta were busy fighting fires that day, so didn’t get to celebrate. So we’ll thank them here. Thanks to all of the wildfire and volunteer firefighters, helicopter and plane pilots, heavy equipment operators, and other people who are protecting us from wildfires. Thanks also to the Town of Slave Lake staff, the Slave Lake Native Friendship Centres, the local churches, local businesses, volunteers and others who made the Atikameg and Whitefish River evacuees feel at home.

With the wildfire danger and the number of fires across the province, the Town of Slave Lake and the Slave Lake Forest Area are under a fire ban and an OHV restriction. OHVs are never allowed in town, but they are also not allowed in the bush, with a very few exceptions. For details, go to and the Town of Slave Lake website.

Monday nights from 6 p.m. to dark, the Slave Lake Rod and Gun Club holds shoots from May into the summer at its gun range. It also has an archery range by the Lesser Slave River.

Two organizations are holding fundraisers at the gun range. Slave Lake Victim Services is holding Clays2Raise on June 3. To register, email The Slave Lake Petroleum Association is holding the Oilmen’s Shoot on June 24. Participants do not have to work in the oilfield. To register, email

Joe Winkler tells us he was driving north on Hwy. 88 when somebody pulled out from Caribou Trail and broadsided him. He’s okay, but his truck got banged up a bit. You have to be on your toes passing that intersection. It’s a bad one and there have been a lot of fender-benders there over the years. You pretty much have to expect the unexpected.

Good news, but don’t hold your breath.

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