Evacuations expanding in Southern Alberta due to wildfire

Evacuations expanding in Southern Alberta due to wildfire

Evacuations expanding in Southern Alberta due to wildfire

The evacuations began just after 10:00 p.m., with states of emergency declared just a few hours later. The evacuation boundary now includes all residents south of Highway 505.

People living in Zone 3 of the Blood Reserve should also prepare to leave the area once an evacuation order has been made.

To the northeast, Cardston County evacuated areas between Waterton and Highway 800, and between the USA border and Township 40, asking evacuees to check in at the towns civic center.

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Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers are going door to door with Parks Canada staff to alert residents they need to leave their homes, the federal agency that manages national parks said.

A Parks Canada spokesperson told CBC News that an update on the fire would not be available until later Tuesday morning, but added, "Parks Canada is actively managing fire at various locations in the national park". On Sept. 8, Parks Canada evacuated Waterton, citing “a significant public safety risk.” On Monday, the fire entered the park and spread northward, leading to evacuations of nearby towns. “Local evacuation orders are in effect.”.

The fire could reach the Akamina Pass later today, according to Parks Canada, and fire crews will ignite their own fire in order to steer the flames and reduce the potential for spot fires to ignite from embers.

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There is also a known off-shoot fire of about 50 hectares in the central region of the park.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the residents, businesses, and staff during this hard time, as well as to the community members of Blood Tribe and municipal district of Pincher Creek and Cardston County who are impacted as this unprecedented fire spreads outside of the national park.

Jared Pierson lives just down the road from the park and made a decision to drive there to check on things, only to find the park engulfed by fire. In it he describes feeling the heat of the fire and hearing it crackle.

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Those who have evacuated are still being asked to register themselves at Vertical Church in Pincher Creek so that authorities can maintain contact.

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