Dozens evacuated in overnight grass fires in Hobbema
Published Tuesday, May 7, 2013 12:19PM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, May 7, 2013 7:07PM MDT
Fire officials are investigating after a massive blaze tore through an area near the Hobbema townsite.
Hundreds of acres burned in the overnight fire, in an area near the QE2 Highway, and Secondary Highway 611 - near the Louis Bull townsite.
Investigators are still working to determine a number of details about the grassfire, no homes were destroyed in this fire, but a number of other ones farther north were in danger.
Dozens had to be evacuated; RCMP said about 50 people were moved to safety, no injuries were reported.
Officials said the fire moved so quickly, help had to be called in from surrounding areas.
“It was pretty hectic,” Muskwachees Fire Department Chief Barry Johnson said. “We had to call in mutual aid.”
The fire departments from the four bands in Hobbema were helped by fire crews from Wetaskiwin, Lacombe, and Ponoka.
In the end, about 70 firefighters and 24 pieces of equipment were used to contain the flames.
Johnson said the late spring only put off the inevitable dry conditions crews dealt with Monday night.
Fire bans called throughout capital region, Alberta
Due to the dry conditions, a number of fire bans have been called throughout much of the province.
In and around the Edmonton area, bans have been enacted in Strathcona County, Lamont County, Brazeau County, Drayton Valley and Beaver County.
In addition, a fire prevention notice is in effect in Parkland County.
Each area has their own restrictions for fire bans and fire prevention notices, more information is available online.
With files from Susan Amerongen