“We were deployed into the townsite and our priority was to protect structures and property inside the town of Waterton,” fire chief Mat Conte said.
Watch below: Being on the front lines of a devastating wildfire is draining both physically and emotionally, not only for the people on the ground, but for their families left to worry about their loved ones’ safety. Joe Scarpelli reports.
His crew arrived Tuesday morning, right after other crews had been up all night battling the blaze that doubled in size in just hours.
“It was very nice to get in there and see that the majority of the townsite and everything else was fairly undamaged. We met with the crews that morning and talked with them. They had a long night and were very busy and did an amazing job.”
Dozens of fire department crews from across southern Alberta and even north of Calgary came to help.
The Olds Fire Department posted on Facebook they had also been asked to help.
Conte said it wasn’t just fire crews in the park: they had some unexpected but well-behaved guests.
“In the townsite there were quite a few deer that were running around and there were a few bears running around the townsite, as well.”
For many of the firefighters who came to fight fire in Waterton, they won’t soon forget what they experienced.
“Initial shock of going in and seeing the area and how burned out it is was probably the one thing that will stick with me,” Conte added. “It’s going to be a change of scenery for all the residents and users of the park for some time to come.”
Detailed information on affected areas can be found at emergency.alberta.ca