May 1, 2014 3:17 pm

Fireworks likely to blame for fires near Longview

CALGARY- Fireworks appear to be the cause of a series of grassfires that raged near Longview.

The five blazes broke out about five kilometres south of the town just before noon on Thursday, forcing firefighters from six surrounding communities to rush to the scene.

Highway 22 between 594 Avenue and Chain Lakes had to be shut down as a result, but was reopened at 4 p.m.

Crews managed to contain or extinguish the fires by the afternoon. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries or property damage.

Officials told Global News that it’s believed the fires were sparked after fireworks were set off.

UPDATE AT 12:51 P.M. MT ON MAY 2: 21-year-old Dale Christopher Aldrich and 24-year-old Marc Pierre Boulanger of Sundre each face four counts of arson, after fireworks were thrown from a vehicle and sparked the grassfires.

-With files from Tony Tighe 

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