A grassfire burning near Canmore, Alta., has led to the closure of part of the Trans-Canada Highway.
According to Canmore Fire Rescue, the eastbound lanes of the highway were closed at Deadman’s Flats as of 5:20 p.m.
By 6:50 p.m., the westbound lanes were also closed.
Traffic was being rerouted along Highway 1A “until further notice,” the RCMP said.
“Given initial reports, our Incident Commander has requested additional resources from AB Forestry and a water tender from Kananaskis FD,” Canmore Fire Rescue said on Twitter.
As of 6:45 p.m., the fire had burned 10 hectares of land and was classified as out of control, according to Alberta Wildfire.
At 8:30 p.m., Canmore Fire Rescue said air suppression of the fire would continue until sunset, and ground crews would remain at the fire through the night.
“There is some infrastructure in the area, including a resort and power lines, but they are not threatened at this time,” Alberta Wildfire spokesperson Josee St-Onge said.
“Firefighting crews, airtankers and helicopters are currently fighting this wildfire, with more resources on their way.”
In photos and videos sent to Global News and posted to social media, large plumes of smoke could be seen wafting across the highway as traffic drove through.
The Canmore Firefighters Association said just after 6 p.m. that crews were circling the town of Canmore, preparing to drop water and flame retardant material.
According to the RCMP, the call about the fire first came in at about 4:30 p.m., and RCMP as well as firefighters are at the scene fighting the flames from both the ground and air.
“Highway 1 eastbound is blocked from Bow Valley Trail to Highway 1x. The public is asked to avoid the area,” police said.
“(The) Canmore RCMP investigation is ongoing.”
At about 6:15 p.m., Canmore Fire Rescue said the highway closure was causing traffic to back up as far as the Parks Canada gate outside of Banff.
“Please consider delaying or postponing your journey east of Banff.”
The Canmore Firefighters Association on Facebook said that crews from Kananaskis, Canmore, Exhaw and provincial resources were responding to the blaze.
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