Fire ban called in Rocky View County following massive grass fire

CALGARY — Less than a day after a large grass fire burned out of control near Cochrane, Alta., officials have put a fire ban in place, joining several other regions under the alert.

Rocky View County announced the fire ban at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, just a few hours after crews brought a large grass fire burning near Highway 1A under control.

“Weather, wind and moisture conditions have created a high risk of fire,” the advisory reads. “The ban will remain in effect as long as high risk conditions remain.”

Under the ban, all burning permits are suspended and burning is banned except for:

  • Internal household fireplaces;
  • Camp stoves (properly attended);
  • Barbecues (charcoal briquettes, propane or natural gas);
  • Propane or natural gas fire pits;
  • Wood pellet grills; and
  • Registered oil well flaring.

WILDCAT HILLS GAS PLANT FIRE CONTAINED

Officials say a grass fire that broke out at about 2:15 p.m. on Thursday has been contained and homes are no longer at risk.

The determination was made at about 6:30 p.m.

The blaze resulted in the evacuation of two homes, a gas station and the Wildcat Hills Gas Extraction Plant, which is located about 15 minutes west of the town of Cochrane.

There is no estimate about how much damage was caused by the fire.

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OTHER AREAS UNDER FIRE BANS

Rocky View County is the latest region in Alberta to call a fire ban due to the tinder-dry conditions.

According to the Alberta Fire Bans website, there are bans in place for a number of regions including the city of Lethbridge, town of Cochrane, Vulcan County, Wheatland County, Lethbridge County, the M.D. of Willow Creek and Ghost Lake.

The ban also includes the following provincial parks and recreation areas (PRAs):

  • Lake McGregor PRA;
  • Little Bow PP;
  • Little Bow Reservoir PRA;
  • Oldman River PRA;
  • Park Lake PP;
  • Travers Reservoir PRA;
  • Willow Creek PP; and
  • Wyndham-Carseland PP.

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