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Heavy winds, downed power lines to blame for Pincher Creek fires: chief

Heavy winds contributed to two grass fires burning near Pincher Creek on Saturday.
Heavy winds contributed to two grass fires burning near Pincher Creek on Saturday. Global News

A wicked wind in southern Alberta is being blamed for two large grass fires sparked near Pincher Creek on Saturday.

One fire was just up Highway 22 and the other was north of Cowley.

READ MORE: Calgary driver captures ‘crazy’ gravel windstorm in Pincher Creek area

Shelley Maloff left her house voluntarily after she saw smoke to the north on the horizon.

“No flames,” she said. “It was just dark smoke.”

“A neighbour drove into the yard and said, ‘It’s behind your place. Get out now.'”

Heavy winds contributed to two grass fires burning near Pincher Creek on Saturday.
Heavy winds contributed to two grass fires burning near Pincher Creek on Saturday. Global News

David Cox, Pincher Creek regional fire chief, said theĀ fires were sparked from fallen power lines from the heavy winds.

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“We had a really high wind event [on Saturday] that caused some issues with the power lines,” he said.

“We covered quite a bit of ground but we don’t have any major values lost on this fire.

“It’s been relatively successful considering the wind.”

READ MORE: High winds in southern Alberta leads to RCMP warning

Officials said a quick response from all corners of the community helped bring the blazes under control.

“We’ve got pretty much all our equipment here,” Cox said. “We’ve got a lot of local farmers and ranchers that are here with their equipment. We’ve got the municipality here with their water trucks.”

“Smoke seems to draw a lot of people,” he added.

No injuries were reported.