Update: Northern Alberta fire response


Our thoughts are with local residents and workers who have been evacuated from Fort McMurray and surrounding areas due to forest fire activity. Cenovus has coordinated its relief efforts through the Alberta government. We provided fuel, food, water and camp lodging to assist with the emergency response and evacuation efforts and we stand ready to provide additional assistance if required.

Cenovus continues to assess the wildfire situation in the region and will manage the risk to our own operations and ensure our staff remain safe.

We will release further information as it becomes available or you can contact Cenovus's Media line at 403-766-7751 or media.relations@cenovus.com.

May 23, 2016, 10:00 a.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • Cenovus’s operations in northern Alberta are not currently affected by recent wildfire activity.
  • The southern edge of the Fort McMurray fire is currently more than 70 km north of our nearest operations at Christina Lake.
  • The Christina Lake facility continues to operate with normal production and staffing levels at this time.
  • Air quality at our northern Alberta operations remains at acceptable levels.
  • Highway 881 is now open, Cenovus continues to have access to its site.

May 17, 2016, 12:00 p.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • Cenovus’s operations in northern Alberta are not currently affected by recent wildfire activity that led to the precautionary evacuation of several oil sands facilities north of Fort McMurray on May 16.
  • The southern edge of the Fort McMurray fire is currently more than 70 km north of our nearest operations at Christina Lake.
  • The Christina Lake facility continues to operate with normal production and staffing levels at this time.
  • Air quality at our northern Alberta operations remains at acceptable levels.
  • While highway 881 is closed approximately 80 km north of Christina Lake, Cenovus continues to have access to its site from the south.

May 10, 2016, 5 p.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • We have been monitoring the wildfire situation in northern Alberta and have decided it’s currently safe to bring non-essential staff back to Christina Lake starting Thursday, May 12.
  • The fire is still 85 km north of our Christina Lake operations. While the fire danger in the region remains “very high,” the situation in the area has stabilized and air quality remains at acceptable levels.
  • We have a comprehensive evacuation plan in place to ensure that if the fire or air-quality situation worsens, we can promptly and safely remove everyone from our site and shut down our operations, if required.
  • In addition to Cenovus’s $100,000 corporate donation to the Red Cross, our employees have now made individual donations to relief agencies of nearly $130,000 (including the company match).

May 8, 2016, 2:00 p.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • The closest out-of-control fire remains about 80 km north of our Christina Lake operations; air quality at site is at acceptable levels.
  • We continue to operate with only essential staff at site. This decision was made as a precautionary measure to facilitate swift evacuations if the wildfire situation escalates.
  • Essential staff at Christina Lake are currently maintaining full production.

May 6, 2016, 1:25 p.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • We are monitoring a new fire that has started in the Anzac region, 80 km north of our Christina Lake operations.
  • All non-essential staff have now left Christina Lake. This decision was made Thursday as a precautionary measure to facilitate swift evacuations if required.
  • Essential staff at Christina Lake are currently maintaining full production
  • We continue to support fire relief efforts, including providing diesel for firefighting efforts, food and water to the local community, transportation for evacuees and accommodations for responders. In addition to the corporate donation to the Red Cross, employees have already donated more than $75,000 (including the company match).

May 5, 2016, 12:00 p.m. MT

Updates about our fire response since we last provided a statement:

  • Cenovus has announced a $100,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross to support immediate relief for northern Alberta communities impacted by the fires. The company is also making a donation to Lac La Biche County to help with its local fire response efforts and will match individual donations from its employees to the Red Cross and other relief agencies. Both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta have announced they’ll match donations to the Red Cross. We encourage others to make direct donations to the Red Cross.
  • Our Christina Lake operations in northern Alberta are more than 100 kilometres south of the Fort McMurray-area forest fire and are not currently affected.
  • Given the extremely dry conditions and high risk of wildfires in the immediate Christina Lake area, Cenovus has decided to keep only essential staff required to maintain normal operations at site. All other Christina Lake staff are being sent home. This is a precautionary measure to facilitate swift evacuations if required.

May 4, 2016 - 6 p.m. MT

Our thoughts are with the residents who have been evacuated from the Fort McMurray area. We are looking for ways to support wildfire relief efforts in the most efficient and effective way possible, working with the Alberta Emergency Management Agency as well as the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and will be supporting the Canadian Red Cross.

Cenovus’s operations in northern Alberta are currently unaffected by the forest fire near the Fort McMurray area. Our emergency response plan has been activated to assess the wildfire situation in the region. We continue to manage the risk to our own operations and ensure our staff remain safe. We are also monitoring access on Highway 881, which is essential for travel to our Christina Lake operation, and are aware of current road closures due to vehicle incidents.

We will release further information as it becomes available or you can contact Cenovus's Media line at 403-766-7751 or media.relations@cenovus.com.