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Evacuation order lifted for Central Alberta wildfire near gas plant

A photo of a wildfire approximately 16 kilometres north of Rocky Mountain House, Alta., on June 3, 2022. CREDIT: Twitter/Alberta Wildfire

Evacuation orders were lifted Saturday morning for an area north of a gas facility located west of Red Deer, Alta.

Evacuations began Friday afternoon due to a wildfire burning in the area.

“There is a wildfire north of Crimson Lake,” Clearwater County officials said in an emergency alert issued at 3:42 p.m. “Alberta Wildfire has begun to evacuate north of the Ferrier Gas Plant on Buster Creek Road, north and north west five kilometres.

“To evacuate heading north, travel on Buster Creek Road to O’Chiese Road, west on O’Chiese road to Sunchild Road, south on Sunchild Road to Highway 11.”

At 5:35 p.m., county officials issued an update and said “everyone must evacuate immediately following the designated route and obey road blocks.”

“It is recommended that all evacuees check in at the Rocky Regional Recreation Centre (at) 5332 50 St. (in) Rocky Mountain House. Follow the directions of local authorities.”

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County officials added that Clearwater Regional Fire Rescue Services and provincial wildfire crews with air support were at the scene.

“Please allow fire crews room to work and avoid the area,” the county said on its website. “With high winds the situation could change quickly.”

Alberta Wildfire tweeted that more than 20 firefighters, air tankers and three helicopters were working on the blaze.

At 10:18 p.m. on Friday night, county officials said the fire was about 15 hectares in size.

“Staffed roadblocks and RCMP patrol will remain overnight, and the evacuation order remains in place,” the county said in its update. Highway 756 (Buster Creek Road) is closed at roadblocks north at TWP 41-4 and south at TWP 40-2A (Crimson Lake Road).

“Individuals with respiratory issues should seek medical attention if required, and if possible, leave the impacted area. For assistance, evacuated residents can call 403-845-4444.”

On Saturday afternoon, Erin Davidson, a provincial information officer, said while road closures and evacuation orders have lifted, the fire remains active.

“As far as we are concerned, the wildfire is still active. It is being held at this time at 14 hectares, we still have firefighters and crews and equipment on the wildfires, we are still actively addressing it,” Davidson said.

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For the latest updates, go to the Clearwater County website.

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