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Wind adds fuel to grass fires

Posted on September 1, 2015 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Jamie Rieger
The lightning storm that blew through the county over the weekend did not seem to pack much of a punch, but the strong winds that have followed have had are volunteer firefighters hopping as they try to extinguish the blazes.
Nevin Heidinger, with the Manyberries volunteer fire department said he received a call about 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning about a large fire burning near Comrey.
According to Heidinger, a water bomber was called in, but because of the strong winds, it was unable to assist because of the wind.
“It did one pass, but because the wind conditions were so bad, the bomber had trouble lifting. There were too many wind drafts,” said Heidinger, adding that a helicopter from Springbank in Calgary and another with a crew from Blairmore have been able to assist.
Members of the Etzikom volunteer fire department assisted, but had their own fires to contend with.
“Ours were all started by lightning. We had one by Hoping and four by Orion,” said Shaune Harty, adding they needed to keep their truck at Etzikom to cover both Etzikom and Manyberries.
Harty, who was combining on Monday morning, said they were keeping a water truck close by to stop any fire from starting.

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