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September 20, 2020 September 20, 2020

Strong winds down power lines, sparking multiple fires throughout southern Alberta

Posted on October 17, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator
Photo by Justin Seward
By Justin Seward

Local fire crews were called into action at 1 p.m. on Tuesday  to  
tackle the wildfire that broke out northeast of Hilda and spread  
right into Burstall.
RCMP shut down Highway 41 in both directions due to poor visibility  
caused by smoke and people were being warned to avoid the area.
Cypress County deputy fire chief John McBain said the cause of the  
blaze was unknown at the time and nobody was hurt, while there was  
believed  be several structures lost.
What made matters worse for the fire fighters was the tornado-like  
winds.
As of 8 p.m. Tuesday night, Hilda residents were ordered to be  
evacuated to the Schuler Hall where there was food and water provided.
Everyone that was directed to Schuler were being sent to Medicine Hat.
There were Burstall residents who stuck it out as the conditions  
seemed to have improved.
"Right now it's still windy, but there's a bit of improvement with  
the smoke," said resident Vipul Patel. "I see some vehicles, they are  
coming back."
Joseph Kwak, owner of the Burstall Hotel, said all his customers left  
after the evacuation was ordered, but he joked he would call them in  
the morning and tell them to come back.
"It's over, I think so," he said. "The smoke is gone."
-With files from Canadian Press

Photo by Justin Seward

Photo by Justin Seward

Photo by Justin Seward

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