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Stepping up to the line of fire: crews from across southern Alberta battle Kenow wildfire

Click to play video: 'Stepping up to line of fire: crews from across southern Alberta battle Kenow fire' Stepping up to line of fire: crews from across southern Alberta battle Kenow fire
WATCH: As the fire continues to burn near Waterton Lakes National Park, crews are working around the clock to save a part of Alberta’s beloved backcountry. Quinn Campbell reports – Sep 14, 2017

When the call came, the Coalhurst Fire Department jumped into action, heading to Waterton to help battle the Kenow fire.

READ MORE: Waterton wildfire update: re-entry to park, townsite could take weeks

“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.

For information on the current status of Alberta wildfires, click here. For B.C. wildfires, click here.

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.

Click to play video: 'Kenow Mountain wildfire taking its toll on families of those fighting the blaze' Kenow Mountain wildfire taking its toll on families of those fighting the blaze
Kenow Mountain wildfire taking its toll on families of those fighting the blaze – Sep 13, 2017

His crew arrived Tuesday morning, right after other crews had been up all night battling the blaze that doubled in size in just hours.

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“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.

Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo.
Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Sierra Garner MANDATORY CREDIT

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.”

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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

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