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Evacuation ordered, state of local emergency declared in Cypress County as wildfire moves in

Cypress County declared a state of local emergency due to a wildfire on Saturday, July 27, 2019. Courtesy: Suzanne Shane-Taylor

UPDATE: On July 31, the Cypress County fire chief said the fire in Suffield had been extinguished and patrols were being done. The fire in Walsh had been confined to a coulee, however there were concerns about flare ups and it possibly reigniting. Overall, about 17,000 hectares had burned.

Cypress County declared a state of local emergency as a wildfire burned in the area on Saturday.

An Alberta emergency alert was issued for the county at 4:50 p.m. It was cancelled at 9:42 p.m.

County officials said on Facebook that a series of fires across the region prompted them to declare the local state of emergency, which will remain in place “until conditions change or improve.”

“While all fires are contained, the threat of fire remains extreme and officials are urging residents to stay alert and cautious,” the message read. “Fire crew will remain on scene to monitor conditions over the next few days.”

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Where it’s burning

The wildfire was burning in a northeast direction south of Highway 1 and the hamlet of Walsh, and west of the Graburn Road. It was burning about eight kilometres south of Highway 1 as well as between Range Road 12A and Graburn Road, and is south of Township Road 110 and north of Township Road 104.

Cypress County Emergency and Fire Services were on scene, according to the emergency alert.

Because of smoke and high winds, visibility was reduced.

Evacuation

Anyone forced to leave their homes was asked to report to the Cypress County Administration Office in the hamlet of Dunmore.

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