Alberta Forest Fire Threatens Park, Campers

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May 17, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Fire crews are holding a wildfire which torched forest land within the boundaries of Crimson Lake Provincial Park, northwest of Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, the Red Deer Advocate reported.

The wildfire started Saturday )May 14) on the southwest of the park with wind pushing the fire to the northwest. An evacuation alert in the provincial park, Wilderness Village RV campground and surrounding properties was issued early Saturday evening.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) fire crews and other supports have been battling the blaze since Saturday. As of 3 p.m. on Monday, the fire was considered being held.

The “being held” status means if the weather and resources do not change the fire will not move beyond the pre-determined boundaries.

On Monday crews were continuing to check for hot spots and reinforcing the fire line.

This wildfire is the18th wildfire reported this season in the Clearwater Forest Area, encompassing Rocky Mountain House. There are currently 16 active fires.

On Sunday there were 11 new fire starts and crews were able to contain the fires by initial attack.

Early Saturday evening, surrounding properties of the wildfire were put on evacuation alert when the fire reached a few kilometres on the western outskirts of the park.

About 150 campers were in Wilderness Village RV Campground at the time of the advisory.

“We had notified everybody within 20 minutes of getting the message,” said Ron Webster, general manager of Wilderness Village.

“We evacuated the whole park and those who chose to stay could.”

Campers and residents in surrounding areas also faced another act of mother nature over the weekend. Strong winds starting Friday and picking up throughout the weekend caused havoc.

Fallen trees damaged RVs and cottages along Crimson Lake.

“We had at least two dozen big ones that came down,” said Webster.

“Thankfully the wind was blowing from the southeast which was into the fire instead of with the fire.”

Wilderness Village clean up crews were busy clearing the fallen trees and debris on Monday.

Both the provincial park and the campground remain open.

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