Sylvan firefighters assisted in townsite during Nordegg wildfire

Firefighters battling to contain a wildfire that threatened Nordegg over the past two weeks

Firefighters battling to contain a wildfire that threatened Nordegg over the past two weeks, were assisted by several Sylvan Lake volunteers.

Fire Chief Cliff Brausen said an engine and crew of four firefighters went to Nordegg on Sunday, May 12th and returned late that evening.

Deputy Fire Chief Steve Scanland spent the night of May 13th-14th in Nordegg, then two more people went out last Thursday returning Friday morning and two people went out Friday morning returning later in the afternoon.

“Basically they did suppression standby in the townsite,” Brausen said. “Setting up sprinklers and cooling down buildings. They weren’t involved in any of the forest fire fighting.”

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for the Nordegg area at 5:44 p.m. on May 12. It was lifted at 10 a.m. last Friday but as of Tuesday morning, a two hour evacuation notice remained in effect.

“This means residents should still be prepared to evacuate again — if given notice,” stated Clearwater County’s website. “The state of local emergency has been extended for town site, north subdivision and mine site. Roads and trails around the mine site remain closed. Signs are posted at restricted areas. Firefighters will continue to work in these area to extinguish hot spots. The Forestry Trunk Road remains closed from Highway 11 to south of the North Saskatchewan River bridge.”

The out-of-control wildfire, which started May 5, forced residents of Nordegg and surrounding areas to evacuate to Rocky Mountain House on May 12.

It was 500 metres from the Historic Mine Site and 1.5 kilometres from Nordegg, according to a story in the Rocky Mountain House Mountaineer.

107 people were evacuated and over 79 evacuees registered at the Rocky Curling Rink where they were greeted by Red Cross volunteers.

Over 100 firefighters were on scene accompanied by various heavy equipment machinery, helicopters and air tankers.

The status at press time Tuesday was the fire was being held with 250 hectares burned.

Assistance of Sylvan Lake firefighters was requested through a mutual aid agreement between the town and Clearwater County.

Brausen also reminded residents that a complete fire ban continues in force in Sylvan Lake.