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Calgary firefighters battle northwest brush fire

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Firefighters battled a heavy brush fire in the city's northwest on Monday, stopping the flames from engulfing any nearby homes.

The Calgary Fire Department dispatched six engines and a bush buggy to an off-leash area along McHugh Bluff around 2:30 p.m.

About 45 minutes later, the flames had climbed up the hill and were approaching homes along Crescent Road N.W.

"One of the callers stated she felt her home was being threatened by the fire as it got closer and definitely when we have brush fires or grass fires in the city, that is a significant risk, especially when it's windy," said Carol Henke, CFD public information officer.

Fire crews worked to douse the flames from the top of McHugh Bluff and below, while the Calgary Police Service used its HAWCS helicopter to help guide firefighters.

"I heard the helicopter circling and mom looked out the front door and she could see the smoke coming up and the sky colour wasn't good, so we could see the general direction from where it was coming from and then we went to see what was going on," one resident said. 

It's not clear what caused this fire, but dry conditions and seasonal cotton fluff mean it's especially easy for one little spark to create dangerous situations.

In a release Monday evening, the CFD said it was still investigating the cause, but "the fire may be related to improper disposal of smoking material."

"Improper disposal of smoking material such as tobacco products is the leading cause of outdoor fires in Calgary. To help reduce outdoor fire risks, citizens should make an effort to properly dispose of smoking material," the fire department said.

The fire prompted Calgary police to close Crescent Road N.W. between 10 Street and Fourth Street.

No injuries were reported and no property damage was reported. 

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