Wetaskiwin RCMP executed a search warrant at a residence on Thursday morning. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Fire that followed a reported explosion at an Alberta oilfield site is under control

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — County officials in northwest Alberta say a fire that followed a report of an early-morning explosion at an oilfield lease site is under control, and air-quality monitoring has determined there’s no risk to the public.

Jason Nesbitt, deputy fire chief with the County of Grande Prairie Fire Services, says winds blew smoke from the blaze north instead of east which it typically does, meaning the smoke blew away from most populated areas.

It also meant the smoke was pushed away from a migratory bird sanctuary on Saskatoon Lake, at least a few kilometres away from the fire.

The Grande Prairie Regional Emergency Partnership says in a statement that crews were dispatched to a reported explosion at the Anegada Oil Corporation site at around 2:40 a.m., and found a large fire involving several tanks which contain crude oil and produced water when they arrived.

The statement says some residents were told by RCMP to get ready to evacuate, but the fire was brought under control later in the morning.

Nesbitt says there were no injuries reported, and that the company’s firefighting team had reached the site and were taking over the job of putting the fire out.

He said he believed all product had been contained within the site.

Cara Tobin of the Alberta Energy Regulator says staff from the agency had arrived at the site Saturday, but that it would likely be a while before the cause of the explosion and fire is determined.

A call to Anegada Oil Corporation on Saturday was not returned.

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