Neighbours battle grassfire

A grass fire sparked by a train zipped along the railway tracks, close to Waskasoo Meadows in Red Deer County, on Saturday before firefighters and neighbours managed to put it out.

Waskasoo Meadows residents Cam Reis

A grass fire sparked by a train zipped along the railway tracks, close to Waskasoo Meadows in Red Deer County, on Saturday before firefighters and neighbours managed to put it out.

The fire took place a few kilometres southwest of the City of Red Deer, not far from where 32nd Street becomes the C&E Trail. Range Road 275 was closed by Red Deer County as county firefighters fought the flames.

Ric Henderson, assistant county manager and director of protective services, said sometime between 4:30 and 4:40 p.m. a train went by and appears to have started the fire along the side of the tracks. Some of the local folks called 911 and then went out to try to contain the blaze before it reached homes in Waskasoo Meadows.

The fire quickly spread from short grass along the CP Rail line’s west side, into longer grass in a depression between Waskasoo Meadows and a home to the north. Flames of up to two metres tall raced through the former slough and were slowed only by fire fighting efforts by neighbours, who used rakes and shovels to slow the fire’s advance.

Amazingly, an old truck parked along the rail line’s fence escaped damage despite fire raging around it.

Darrel Reis, who lives in Waskasoo Meadows, used a rake to stop the blaze from moving, along with his son Cam and nephew George Wilson.

“I know all the neighbours and I knew where the fire was headed and I thought oh, oh,” he said. He said the fire looked like it was under control when the wind picked up and it started moving.

Red Deer County volunteer firefighters arrived shortly after to extinguish the fire before it reached the home and Range Road 275.

Around 15 firefighters and seven Red Deer County fire trucks, including pickups with a small tank in the back that they call bush trucks, were on the scene. Approximately 10 acres of land was charred by the fire.

“It’s fairly dry right now after this week of warm temperatures,” Henderson said.

He expects more grass fires with the weather expected to be nice this week.

Henderson asked the public to be extra cautious with the current conditions. He said Red Deer County residents are required to have burn permits if they want to have open fires and burn barrels. He also asked people not to throw cigarette butts out the window while driving.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Good-bye ice and snow, hello potholes on Red Deer roads

City workers will be spending 20 hours a day on various road repairs

Fog advisory in effect for Red Deer, central Alberta

Heavy fog is affecting visibility for central Alberta drivers Saturday morning. A… Continue reading

Climate change’s impact on outdoor hockey discussed in Red Deer

Red Deer River Watershed Alliance held a forum Friday at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

Collision between Red Deer transit bus and truck investigated by RCMP

No one on bus was hurt, truck driver had minor injuries

Eckville man facing about 80 child sexual exploitation charges in court

More than half a million photos and videos found on electronic devices

WATCH: Fashion show highlights Cree designers

The fashion show was part of a Samson Cree Nation conference on MMIW

Montreal priest stabbed during mass leaves hospital; suspect to be charged

MONTREAL — A Catholic priest who was stabbed as he was celebrating… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $35.7 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $35.7 million jackpot… Continue reading

New report details impact of proposed NS spaceport in event of explosion or fire

HALIFAX — The head of a company proposing to open Canada’s only… Continue reading

Quebec man convicted in Mafia-linked conspiracy deported to Italy

MONTREAL — Michele Torre, a Quebec man convicted in 1996 for his… Continue reading

Republican Karl Rove says conservatives need more than simplistic slogans

OTTAWA — Legendary Republican campaign strategist Karl Rove, known for his no-holds-barred… Continue reading

B.C. hospital’s use as shelter ‘clarion call’ about housing crisis, says mayor

The 10-bed regional hospital that serves the medical needs of 5,000 people… Continue reading

Puddle splashing: A rite of spring

Is there anything more fun than driving through water-filled potholes in the… Continue reading

Special evaluations can help seniors cope with cancer care

Before she could start breast cancer treatment, Nancy Simpson had to walk… Continue reading

Most Read