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  1. #1
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default 1,000 people ordered out of Crowsnest Pass, Alta., due to fire danger

    HILLCREST, Alberta (CP) - About 1,000 people were ordered out of this southwestern Alberta town on Saturday because of the threat posed by a huge forest fire.

    The blaze, which was about three kilometres from the main town site, was encroaching on some buildings in the outlying area. The mayor of nearby Crowsnest Pass, John Irwin, said the smoke and flames was making things uncomfortable.

    He said the out-of-control blaze was by far the worst in the community's history.

    Roughly 800 firefighters are trying to contain the fire, which covers about 140 square kilometres and is close to the mining town of Blairmore.

    The 1,000 evacuees are in addition to more than 100 people from Hillcrest who have been out of their homes since last Sunday.

    Ground crews were supported by nine water bombers, 21 helicopters, 34 bulldozers and 20 water trucks.

    Public access to the area remained restricted. The hot, dry conditions have also prompted Parks Canada to impose fire bans in Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton and Glacier-Revelstoke national parks.

    Thick smoke from a fire inside Jasper National Park, called the Syncline Ridge fire, forced park officials to close a 35-kilometre section of Highway 16 for almost eight hours Friday, on the eve of Jasper's annual folk festival and one of its busiest long weekends.

    Parks Canada spokesman Ifan Thomas said the smoke reduced visibility on the road and the operations of the six to eight helicopters fighting the 83-square-kilometre-blaze introduced a safety concern.

    The Canadian Press, 2003

    08/2/2003 16:03 EST
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST


  2. #2
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm sure a bunch of my friends and people I know must be fighting the Syncline Fire in Jasper. Praying everyone stays safe! It very unusual for the highway to be closed

    Forest fire forces evacuation of 1,000 people from Hillcrest, Alta.

    BILL GRAVELAND

    HILLCREST, Alta. (CP) - An out-of-control forest fire cast a deep orange glow over the scenic Crownest Pass in southwestern Alberta and forced the evacuation of about 1,000 people from this mountain community Saturday.

    The raging fire came within just three kilometres of town and encroached on outlying buildings, but it had not reached the main town site.

    "The fire has not entered any residential area but certainly in the Hillcrest area it is threatening buildings," said John Irwin, mayor of the Municipality of Crownest Pass, which includes the mining towns of Hillcrest, Blairmore, Bellevue and a couple of other communities strung along Highway 3 through the mountain pass.

    Elsewhere, the sky was a bright blue. But near the threatening blaze, called the Lost Creek fire, the smoke and flames reduced visibility so it seemed like twilight.

    The billowing smoke, which looked like rolling thunderheads, enveloped the entire pass east of Hillcrest.

    Flames 100 metres high were visible from Bellevue, a couple of kilometres away from Hillcrest on the other side of the highway.

    The smoke and flames were making things very uncomfortable, Irwin said.

    The out-of-control blaze was by far the worst in the area's history, said the mayor.

    The 1,000 evacuees are in addition to more than 100 people from Hillcrest who have been out of their homes for a week.

    Jason Kazmir was at work at the Elkview coal mine when he received a phone call telling him to get his family and evacuate.

    "I wasn't scared a couple of days ago," Kazmir said. "It didn't bother me, but now I'm scared. It's reality."

    He, his wife and their two small sons were spending the night at an evacuation facility set up in the Crownest Learning Centre. But he wasn't expecting to get much sleep and didn't know how long they would have to stay away from home.

    The fire appeared to come within a kilometre of town, said Kazmir, who could see flames on top of a nearby hill.

    Another Hillcrest resident, Rick Waldner, 48, said he really didn't expect the evacuation would happen, even though the town had been on alert for days.

    "After a week, you kind of figure it's going to miss you. It surprised the crap out of me," he said.

    But he said he wasn't worried. "About what - possessions? No. Family is all safe," said Waldner.

    "Even watching that fire come down the hill to town, it's concerning but not terrifying," he added stoically.

    Roughly 800 firefighters were trying to contain the blaze, which covers about 140 square kilometres and was also within a few kilometres of Blairmore where residents were on alert.

    Crews were doing a backburn on a nearby mountain ridge and steam of helicopters were dropping buckets of water on the forest fire.

    Ground crews were supported by nine water bombers, 21 helicopters, 34 bulldozers and 20 water trucks.

    "The community is fighting all they can," said Hillcrest resident Pat Bradley.

    "There's air power. There's land power. There are workers trying their darndest to save our homes," Bradley said.

    "We've lived here in the Crowsnest Pass for 30 years," she added. "It's a beautiful place to live. I'm not so sure it's going to be that way once everything is finished."

    Another 2,700 people in the area were on evacuation alert, meaning fire officials could order them to leave within an hour.

    Public access to the area remained restricted. The hot, dry conditions have also prompted Parks Canada to impose fire bans in Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton and Glacier-Revelstoke national parks.

    Thick smoke from a fire inside Jasper National Park, called the Syncline Ridge fire, forced park officials to close a 35-kilometre section of Highway 16 for almost eight hours Friday, on the eve of Jasper's annual folk festival and one of its busiest long weekends.

    Parks Canada spokesman Ifan Thomas said the smoke reduced visibility on the road and the operations of the six to eight helicopters fighting the 83-square-kilometre-blaze introduced a safety concern.

    About 40 forest fires were burning in Alberta on Saturday. Twelve of them were out of control.

    The Canadian Press, 2003

    08/2/2003 21:31 EST
    Last edited by RspctFrmCalgary; 08-02-2003 at 10:22 PM.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

  3. #3
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Now in Victoria, BC. I'm from beautiful Jasper Alberta in the heart of the Can. Rockies - will always be an Albertan at heart!
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    Default LATEST UPDATE

    Forest fire forces evacuation of 800 people from Hillcrest, Alta.

    BILL GRAVELAND

    HILLCREST, Alta. (CP) - An out-of-control forest fire cast a deep orange glow over the scenic Crownest Pass in southwestern Alberta and forced the evacuation of about 800 people from this mountain community Saturday.

    Fire officials said Saturday night that the raging fire came within a kilometre of the community. There were spots of fire in an upscale subdivision on the outskirts, but no buildings had been destroyed.

    "The fire has not entered any residential area but certainly in the Hillcrest area it is threatening buildings," said John Irwin, mayor of the Municipality of Crownest Pass, which includes the mining communities of Hillcrest, Bellevue, Blairmore, Frank and Coleman, strung along Highway 3 through the mountain pass.

    The fire took a turn for the worse Saturday evening for the 2,700 residents of Blairmore. People living on the south side of the community were told to be ready to leave with one hour's notice.

    Elsewhere, the sky was a bright blue. But near the threatening blaze, called the Lost Creek fire, the smoke and flames reduced visibility so that during the day it seemed like twilight.

    The billowing smoke, which looked like rolling thunderheads, enveloped the entire pass east of Hillcrest.

    Flames 100 metres high were visible from Bellevue, a couple of kilometres away from Hillcrest on the other side of the highway.

    The smoke and flames were making things very uncomfortable, Irwin said.

    The out-of-control blaze was by far the worst in the area's history, said the mayor.

    The 800 evacuees are in addition to more than 100 people from Hillcrest who have been out of their homes for a week.

    Jason Kazmir was at work at the Elkview coal mine when he received a phone call telling him to get his family and evacuate.

    "I wasn't scared a couple of days ago," Kazmir said. "It didn't bother me, but now I'm scared. It's reality."

    He, his wife and their two small sons were spending the night at an evacuation facility set up in the Crownest Learning Centre. But he wasn't expecting to get much sleep and didn't know how long they would have to stay away from home.

    The fire appeared dangerously close to Hillcrest, said Kazmir, who could see flames on top of a nearby hill.

    Another Hillcrest resident, Rick Waldner, 48, said he really didn't expect the evacuation would happen, even though the town had been on alert for days.

    "After a week, you kind of figure it's going to miss you. It surprised the crap out of me," he said.

    But he said he wasn't worried. "About what - possessions? No. Family is all safe," said Waldner.

    "Even watching that fire come down the hill to town, it's concerning but not terrifying," he added stoically.

    Roughly 800 firefighters were trying to contain the blaze, which covers about 140 square kilometres.

    Crews were doing a backburn on a nearby mountain ridge and steam of helicopters were dropping buckets of water on the forest fire.

    Ground crews were supported by nine water bombers, 21 helicopters, 34 bulldozers and 20 water trucks.

    "The community is fighting all they can," said Hillcrest resident Pat Bradley.

    "There's air power. There's land power. There are workers trying their darndest to save our homes," Bradley said.

    "We've lived here in the Crowsnest Pass for 30 years," she added. "It's a beautiful place to live. I'm not so sure it's going to be that way once everything is finished."

    Public access to the area remained restricted. The hot, dry conditions have also prompted Parks Canada to impose fire bans in Jasper, Banff, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton and Glacier-Revelstoke national parks.

    Thick smoke from a fire inside Jasper National Park, called the Syncline Ridge fire, forced park officials to close a 35-kilometre section of Highway 16 for almost eight hours Friday, on the eve of Jasper's annual folk festival and one of its busiest long weekends.

    Parks Canada spokesman Ifan Thomas said the smoke reduced visibility on the road and the operations of the six to eight helicopters fighting the 83-square-kilometre-blaze introduced a safety concern.

    About 40 forest fires were burning in Alberta on Saturday. Twelve of them were out of control.

    The Canadian Press, 2003

    08/2/2003 23:24 EST
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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