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September 27, 2020 September 27, 2020

County crews continue to extinguish hot spots

Posted on August 2, 2019 by 40 Mile Commentator
Alberta Newspaper Group Photo by Justin Seward Cypress County's Chief Administrative Officer Tarolyn Aaserud addresses the media with an update on Cypress County's state of local emergency while Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes (left), Cypress County fire chief Kelly Meyer, director of emergency management Kim Dalton and county Reeve Dan Hamilton look on.

By Justin Seward

Commentaor/Courier

Cypress County officials announced at a Thursday press conference that there has been a county-wide fire ban in place and additional resources have been added to assist crews already in place to battle the Graeburn Road fire near Walsh that still has active hot spots.
Three fires igniting on the same day at Suffield, Irvine and on Graeburn Road led the county to declare a local state of emergency, which has now been in place since Saturday.
“Efforts continue today on several fronts to extinguish smouldering fires that continue to burn underground and the vegetation root systems across the county,” states a release.
“In order to assist in fire control, Cypress County has taken key measures including a county-wide fire ban and added additional resources to assist those already in place. Heli Source Ltd., will begin flyovers of burned areas to perform thermal imaging and pinpoint hot spots.
“The county’s fire ban reflects the extreme fire hazard we face due to the lack of precipitation as well as persistent hot and dry conditions.”
was asked about how thin crews were stretched over the last week.
“Over the week we were stretched pretty thin,” county fire chief Kelly Meyer said of crews. “We relied on mutual aid partners – Alberta Forestry, Saskatchewan, the RM, farmers and ranchers – to assist and help us. We kept stations fully manned in the event we had other incidents.”
Members are getting lots of rest and sleep and there is monitoring occurring on the number of people and personnel the county fire services can have available in the event of another incident, he added.
During the Graeburn Road fire there was garage, pumphouse, shed, telephone polls and miles of fenceline lost.
Meyer said hot spots are “slowly improving but not to the point it’s safe.”
“Crews are out there right now. If they see a hot spot, they will extinguish it. We won’t really know more until we get our high altitude thermal scan.”
Cypress County’s director of emergency management Kim Dalton says when they went out to notify farmers and ranchers of evacuation, their response was that they were in the midst of battling the blaze.
“The evacuations were voluntary,” said Dalton.
“Then they returned home that evening.”
The Graeburn fire was caused by a lightning strike and is still active. The first Suffield fire last Wednesday was semi-truck related, while the second on Saturday was a cigarette and both have been put out. The blaze west of Irvine was caused by creosote ties north of railway track catching fire.
The local state of emergency is expected to be up until at least today, which is when county officials will be monitoring the fire areas.Cypress County officials announced at a Thursday press conference that there has been a county-wide fire ban in place and additional resources have been added to assist crews already in place to battle the Graeburn Road fire near Walsh that still has active hot spots.
Three fires igniting on the same day at Suffield, Irvine and on Graeburn Road led the county to declare a local state of emergency, which has now been in place since Saturday.
“Efforts continue today on several fronts to extinguish smouldering fires that continue to burn underground and the vegetation root systems across the county,” states a release.
“In order to assist in fire control, Cypress County has taken key measures including a county-wide fire ban and added additional resources to assist those already in place. Heli Source Ltd., will begin flyovers of burned areas to perform thermal imaging and pinpoint hot spots.
“The county’s fire ban reflects the extreme fire hazard we face due to the lack of precipitation as well as persistent hot and dry conditions.”
was asked about how thin crews were stretched over the last week.
“Over the week we were stretched pretty thin,” county fire chief Kelly Meyer said of crews. “We relied on mutual aid partners – Alberta Forestry, Saskatchewan, the RM, farmers and ranchers – to assist and help us. We kept stations fully manned in the event we had other incidents.”
Members are getting lots of rest and sleep and there is monitoring occurring on the number of people and personnel the county fire services can have available in the event of another incident, he added.
During the Graeburn Road fire there was garage, pumphouse, shed, telephone polls and miles of fenceline lost.
Meyer said hot spots are “slowly improving but not to the point it’s safe.”
“Crews are out there right now. If they see a hot spot, they will extinguish it. We won’t really know more until we get our high altitude thermal scan.”
Cypress County’s director of emergency management Kim Dalton says when they went out to notify farmers and ranchers of evacuation, their response was that they were in the midst of battling the blaze.
“The evacuations were voluntary,” said Dalton.
“Then they returned home that evening.”
The Graeburn fire was caused by a lightning strike and is still active. The first Suffield fire last Wednesday was semi-truck related, while the second on Saturday was a cigarette and both have been put out. The blaze west of Irvine was caused by creosote ties north of railway track catching fire.
The local state of emergency is expected to be up until at least today, which is when county officials will be monitoring the fire areas.

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