Firefighters scramble to rein in fast-moving northern Alberta wildfire

BONNYVILLE, Alta. — A wildfire that erupted Monday night not far from a northeastern Alberta town and quickly grew out of control is now listed as being held.

The Municipal District of Bonnyville says on its Facebook page that crews managed overnight to contain the blaze west of Bonnyville, about 240 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

The statement says the flames in the Moose Lake forest area have covered about 90 hectares, but no evacuation order has been issued for the town’s population of about 6,000.

Fire crews from a number of communities have been on scene, along with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry personnel, municipal district staff and private heavy equipment operators.

They will continue battling the fire, backed up by water bombers and heavy equipment.

Jay Melvin, chief of the Bonnyville Regional Fire Authority, says he anticipates a full day of firefighting today.

The municipal district said the flames erupted in a ditch along a range road and spread rapidly due to tinder dry conditions. The road between Highways 28 and 660 remains closed.

At one point, the blaze jumped a fire line but crews were able to quickly contain the flames.

Six fixed-wing aircraft, three helicopters and a dozen fire trucks aided firefighters Monday night. Officials said natural barriers that include the lake were protecting Bonnyville.

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