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Wildfire brought under control in Lac Ste. Anne County, evacuation alert dropped

Click to play video: 'Wildfire briefly triggers evacuation worries in Lac Ste. Anne County'
Wildfire briefly triggers evacuation worries in Lac Ste. Anne County
A wildfire in Lac Ste. Anne County was quickly brought under control Monday afternoon, but not before area residents were told to be prepared to flee. As Morgan Black explains, it's a success story amid of what is expected to be another extreme fire season in Alberta – Apr 22, 2024

It’s dry, windy and warming up in Alberta, where the risk of wildfires was put on display Monday afternoon when a rural area northwest of Edmonton was briefly told to be prepared to evacuate.

A wildfire broke out Monday morning in a rural area of Lac Ste. Anne County, prompting a brief evacuation before the flames were brought under control. The fire was in a rural area near Onoway.

An Alberta Emergency Alert issued at 12:40 p.m. by the Alberta Emergency Management Agency said the wildfire was burning west of the Bilby Common subdivision and heading east.

The subdivision is located near Township Road 544 and Range Road 15.

Reeve Joe Blakeman said about 100 people live in Bilby Common but if the fire carried on east, the number of people affected could have increased to as many as 500.

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Area residents were told to be prepared to evacuate within 30 minutes’ notice. An hour later, Blakeman said crews appeared to be getting the upper hand and the fire was contained, so the evacuation alert would be lifted.

The emergency alert ended just after 2:30 p.m., when an update said the wildfire was brought under control.

A reception centre was being opened at the Onoway Heritage Centre (4708 Lac Ste Anne Trail North) but later closed.

Click to play video: 'Alberta mountain towns prepare for expected busy wildfire season'
Alberta mountain towns prepare for expected busy wildfire season

The alert said Township Road 544 from Range Road 21 to Range Road 15 remained closed.

Dave Dow has a farm in the Bilby area and said when the alert came out, he was left figuring out how to move 70 cows and 25 horses off his property if needed.

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“Little bit more difficult for us to just pack up and go,” he said, adding his daughter lives nearby and also has goats and chickens.

He saw the smoke from the fire about an hour before the alert was issued, and watched as several fire trucks arrived in the area to put out what he said appeared to be a grass fire on a neighbouring property.

“Three trucks showed up, and since then, it’s gone down substantially within the last 45 minutes,” he said Monday afternoon.

Northern Gateway Public Schools said schools in Onoway are not currently affected by the wildfire and classes are running as normal; but some bus routes are affected and will not run Monday afternoon. Families are being contacted, the school division said.

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Lac Ste Anne County is under a full fire ban.

Click to play video: 'Dry conditions prompt early Alberta fire bans, Edmonton council pushes for further restrictions'
Dry conditions prompt early Alberta fire bans, Edmonton council pushes for further restrictions

— More to come…

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