A wildfire aided by high winds and dry conditions is threatening homes in the Crowsnest Pass area.
The Environment and Sustainable Resource Department has responded to a five-hectare grass fire in the area, located off Highway 3 near the weigh station. At the moment, 20 ESRD firefighters, two engines, one helicopter, and two water trucks are on site, in addition to crews and equipment from the Crowsnest Pass and
Blairmore fire departments, according to Geoffrey Driscoll, a wildlife information officer with ESRD.
“There are some houses in the area,” he said of the acreages that are now at some risk. “The RCMP has evacuated those homes.”
Driscoll added the homes are north of the fire, and with the winds coming at 50 kilometres per hour from the west, the potential is there for the blaze to get even closer than it already is.
“It’s within 200 metres of the closest home now,” he added.
Driscoll added the fire started early this afternoon and mentioned though no official cause had be determined, fires generally start in two ways — lightning and human causes, as he added no lightning strikes have been reported in the area recently.
The fire has been deemed out of control by ESRD, and the challenges are many for crews in the area at the moment.
“We have 50 kilometre-per-hour winds, which makes it really tough, especially with the grass, which is very dry and brown,” said Driscoll.
He said fire crews will continue to battle the fire, and added updates will be released by ESRD later in the day.