September 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 37
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Alberta Agriculture and Forestry answers your questions
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Alberta Agriculture and Forestry wildfire information officers and crew from the local fire department were answering the public’s questions in the Tim Hortons parking lot last weekend. The public can visit the local ranger station in Blairmore at 11901 19 Ave. or visit www.albertafirebans.ca or call 1-866-FYI-FIRE for the latest updates on wildfire.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The Alberta Agriculture and Forestry information trailer and local fire crew were answering the public’s questions about the wildfire situation in the area and the Forest Area Closure in the Tim Hortons parking lot last weekend.

Wildfire information officers were available to answer questions on the Waterton evacuation, the Forest Area Closure as well as providing information on the smoke status, general conditions of the area and what the public can do to keep themselves and their families safe.

“With the smoke happening in the area, we’re getting a lot of people with questions and concerns, everything from concerns about health to the proximity of fires in BC and Alberta. We’re also answering questions about the fires adjacent to Waterton and what’s going on there,” says wildfire information officer Marina Irwin, who was out with the Alberta Agriculture and Forestry information truck on Friday. “There are no threats to the community right now, but as we have weather changing, the conditions are still extremely dry, it’s always good to have in the back of your mind, ‘What would you need to have ready if something were to happen?’”

Another aspect of what they would like to do is dispel any hearsay or misinformation.
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“We’re here providing the correct information. We want to stop secondhand hearsay and explain what’s actually going on. We know that people are concerned. They have anxieties when they hear that there’s an evacuation, wondering if it might happen to their community. We’re just here to provide the most current information to everyone,” says Irwin.

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Calvert was also on-hand to inform and encourage people to have a 72-hour emergency preparedness kit ready.

“What do you take when you’re ordered to evacuate? Your umbrella, your left boot and a running shoe,” he says, explaining that people react to emergency situations differently and may not be thinking as coherently as they are normally.

Calvert adds that it’s important for people to evacuate an area as soon as an order goes out so that emergency crew can combat the fire danger as opposed to worrying who’s in the backcountry or what human life may be in danger.

The public can visit the local ranger station in Blairmore at 11901 19 Ave. or visit www.albertafirebans.ca or call 1-866-FYI-FIRE for the latest updates on wildfire.
Current wildfire status
continued below ...
A mandatory evacuation alert went out for the MD of Pincher Creek late in the evening on September 11. Residents south of Highway 505 to Waterton Park and Castle Mountain Resort were advised to leave the area because of the encroaching Kenow Mountain wildfire that began in British Columbia.

Another mandatory evacuation notice was issued for Cardston County between Waterton Park and Range Road 281 from the U.S. Border north to Township Road 40.

The Blood Reserve also declared a mandatory evacuation due to the threat of wildfire late Monday.

Highways 5, 6, and the Chief Mountain border crossing are closed.

In an Alberta Fire Behaviour Advisory issued by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry for September 12, fire danger indices were in the “very high to extreme” levels due to strong W - SW winds blowing at 35 to 45 km/hr with gusts of 60 to 70 km/hr.

As of September 12, the report indicates, “Drought Codes continue to be high to extreme across most of northern Alberta and this will prolong existing fire mop up, and may cause a return of high fire danger conditions if warm temperatures continue into September.”

Precipitation is forecast for Southern Alberta and the Waterton area starting Wednesday, September 13, which may change the wildfire situation.

“This cold front represents a shift in fire danger for the Province for the near future as fire danger values drop across the Province. Forecast temperatures are low enough that this precipitation may fall as wet snow at elevation,” indicated the statement.
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September 13th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 37
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