Evacuation order ended for southern Alberta village after wildfire deemed 'contained'
CALGARY -- A large grass fire near the southern Alberta village of Carmangay appears to be under control, according to Vulcan RCMP.
The village was put under an evacuation alert Sunday afternoon as wildfire spread in the area.
"This grass fire spans 7 to 10 miles (11 to 16 kilometres) and is out of control," police said in an earlier release. They later added that the fire was moving east.
According to RCMP, over 5,000 hectares were damaged by the fire.
Meanwhile, the Town of Claresholm said earlier closures on Highway 2 and Highway 520 have ended.
Megan Smid, who was driving through the area Sunday afternoon, told CTV News it was an "awful" scene.
"There were fire trucks and water trucks coming from Nanton and semis flipped over everywhere," she said.
"That wind, when it hit that fire, it was just like little fire tornadoes all around the farm area."
RCMP said the high winds resulted in three semi rollovers and two other collisions.
EMERGENCY ALERT ENDED
An Alberta Emergency Alert for residents in the M.D. of Willow Creek because of two wildfires burning out of control near Highway 2 is over.
Officials announced the alert at 3:15 p.m., saying there are two wildfires burning between Fort Macleod and Stavely.
According to the M.D of Willow Creek as of 8:16 p.m., residents can return to their properties. They added that while the emergency alert is over, officials will keep an eye on the fire.
High winds have been blowing through southern Alberta since early Sunday and are likely to have contributed to the size of the fire.
THIRD WILDFIRE ON BLOOD RESERVE
Officials with the Blood Tribe First Nation say crews on the reserve are fighting their own grass fire, which has also grown out-of-control. It has closed "a significant portion' of Highway 509.
Residents are also being told to leave their homes, says Pam Blood, Blood Tribe communications director in a release.
"The residents of the Fort Whoop Up area on the east end of the Blood Reserve were evacuated. A temporary emergency shelter is currently being set up at the multi-purpose building in Standoff."
Members of the public were also told to stay away from the affected areas because of heavy smoke being blown by the wind.