1. #1
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    RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default Overcast skies, cooler temps raise hopes in Alta. fire battle / NEW fire in JASPER!

    Another fire in Jasper!! Maligne Lake is the most beautiful place in the world, you would not believe it. Jasper doesn't usually see this much fire activity. The Syncline Ridge fire was a burn started May 12.

    BILL GRAVELAND

    CROWSNEST PASS, Alta. (CP) - Nearly 2,000 residents evacuated from this scenic pass in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta waited for word Monday of efforts to battle a forest fire that threatened two small communities.

    The day got off to a promising start with overcast skies and cooler temperatures. The heavy smoke that had engulfed the area for several days also seemed to have cleared a bit. "The relatively humidity is up as well, but .*.*. we're not expecting any (rain) today," said Norman Brownlee, provincial fire information officer.

    "There was no significant observed growth (in the fire) overnight. We've had no loss of any structures, any homes, in the area. Work is continuing on laying sprinkler systems in the area, and a number of homes in the Hillcrest area have had foam retardant placed on them."

    Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and cabinet ministers Mike Cardinal and Dave Coutts were scheduled to tour the area on Monday afternoon.

    About 900 people in the mining town of Hillcrest were ordered out Saturday. On Sunday, they were joined by 1,000 people living in the southeast section of Blairmore.

    Cindy May and her family left Blairmore on Sunday afternoon and spent the night with friends in nearby Coleman.

    May said getting ready to go wasn't a problem.

    "We had actually packed last Saturday night," she said with a laugh.

    Blairmore resident Jessica Goodwin said she remains optimistic that fire crews will get the blaze under control.

    "I'm hoping so, hoping (we) don't lose all the scenery," she said. "A lot of tourists come here for the scenery."

    The out-of-control blaze - measuring 180 square kilometres - remained about three kilometres southwest of Blairmore and half a kilometre from Hillcrest on Monday.

    Brownlee said 840 firefighters were battling the Lost Creek fire, along with 20 helicopters, three air tankers, 38 bulldozers.

    Ontario pitched in on Sunday by lending support staff and four water bombers - designed to douse the blaze from the air - to Alberta.

    The province had 35 fires on Monday, down 10 from the day before. Seven were listed as out of control and the rest were either under control or being held.

    "In some areas, we were getting rain in the northern part of the province," Brownlee said of the reduced number of fires. "A lot of it is simply the work of the crews."

    A new fire on the northwest corner of Maligne Lake forced the evacuation of about 500 visitors and staff from the popular tourist destination. Parks Canada spokesman Ifan Thomas said by Monday morning, the fire was not yet contained but there were 15 crew, two helicopters and two water bombers working on it.

    Thomas also said the Syncline Ridge fire had been contained in the back country of Jasper National Park, and facilities in the Miette Hot Springs and Pocahontas had been reopened.

    Two small wildfires caused by lightning had forced the evacuation of about 500 people from campgrounds 50 kilometres southwest of Sundre in central Alberta. By Monday, one of those fires was listed as contained while the other was still out of control.

    In neighbouring British Columbia, more than 10,000 people have been evacuated because of the threat posed by more than 350 fires, and the government has extended a state of emergency to cover the entire province.

    Officials are keying on four blazes in the south - three major wildfires near Kamloops and another in the west Okanagan Valley.

    The Canadian Press, 2003

    08/4/2003 13:24 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

  2. #2
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    RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default LATEST UPDATE ON ALBERTA FIRES

    Overcast skies, cooler temperatures raise hopes in southern Alta. fire battle

    BILL GRAVELAND

    CROWSNEST PASS, Alta. (CP) - Nearly 2,000 residents evacuated from this scenic pass in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta waited for word Monday of efforts to battle a forest fire that threatened two small communities.

    The day got off to a promising start with overcast skies and cooler temperatures. The heavy smoke that had engulfed the area for several days also seemed to have cleared a bit. "The relatively humidity is up as well, but . . . we're not expecting any (rain) today," said Norman Brownlee, provincial fire information officer.

    "There was no significant observed growth (in the fire) overnight. We've had no loss of any structures, any homes, in the area. Work is continuing on laying sprinkler systems in the area, and a number of homes in the Hillcrest area have had foam retardant placed on them."

    About 900 people in the mining town of Hillcrest were ordered out Saturday. On Sunday, they were joined by 1,000 people living in the southeast section of Blairmore.

    Alberta Premier Ralph Klein and cabinet ministers Mike Cardinal and Dave Coutts were scheduled to tour the area on Monday afternoon.

    "They'll be getting a close look at the Lost Creek fire, a tour of Hillcrest and the Crowsnest Centre where people have been deployed from evacuation," said fire information officer Brydon Ward.

    He added that fire crews feel they have achieved some success.

    "We worked very hard to hit the head of this fire as it approached the community of Hillcrest (on Sunday)," he said. "The fire intensity laid down a lot and so the fire crews were really able to do some good work in there."

    Cindy May and her family left Blairmore on Sunday afternoon and spent the night with friends in nearby Coleman.

    May said getting ready to go wasn't a problem.

    "We had actually packed last Saturday night," she said with a laugh.

    Blairmore resident Jessica Goodwin said she remains optimistic that fire crews will get the blaze under control.

    "I'm hoping so, hoping (we) don't lose all the scenery," she said. "A lot of tourists come here for the scenery."

    The out-of-control blaze - measuring 180 square kilometres - remained about three kilometres southwest of Blairmore and half a kilometre from Hillcrest on Monday.

    Brownlee said 840 firefighters were battling the Lost Creek fire, along with 20 helicopters, three air tankers, 38 bulldozers.

    Ontario pitched in on Sunday by lending support staff and four water bombers - designed to douse the blaze from the air - to Alberta.

    The province had 35 fires on Monday, down 10 from the day before. Seven were listed as out of control and the rest were either under control or being held.

    "In some areas, we were getting rain in the northern part of the province," Brownlee said of the reduced number of fires. "A lot of it is simply the work of the crews."

    A new fire on the northwest corner of Maligne Lake forced the evacuation of about 500 visitors and staff from the popular tourist destination. Parks Canada spokesman Ifan Thomas said by Monday morning, the fire was not yet contained but there were 15 crew, two helicopters and two water bombers working on it.

    Thomas also said the Syncline Ridge fire had been contained in the back country of Jasper National Park, and facilities in the Miette Hot Springs and Pocahontas had been reopened.

    Two small wildfires caused by lightning had forced the evacuation of about 500 people from campgrounds 50 kilometres southwest of Sundre in central Alberta. By Monday, one of those fires was listed as contained while the other was still out of control.

    In neighbouring British Columbia, more than 10,000 people have been evacuated because of the threat posed by more than 350 fires, and the government has extended a state of emergency to cover the entire province.

    Officials are keying on four blazes in the south - three major wildfires near Kamloops and another in the west Okanagan Valley.

    The Canadian Press, 2003

    08/4/2003 15:03 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

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