DEAD MAN'S FLATS – Firefighters are continuing to work at extinguishing a grassfire that began late-Friday afternoon near Dead Man's Flats and the Trans-Canada Highway.
Alberta Wildfire updated the fire as being held and the cause of it being human, but that it is still under investigation. The preliminary investigation has the cause believed to be a brush fire, but the Canmore RCMP are continuing to investigate, according to a police media release.
A media release from the RCMP said a report of a grassfire was received at about 4:30 p.m. Friday (Aug. 13) afternoon.
The highway on the east lane from Bow Valley Trail to Highway 1x was blocked for several hours during Friday evening, but was reopened late Friday night to one lane with the other being used by emergency crews.. The west lane was also closed as of about 7 p.m. and was reopened late Friday night.
“The smoke is heavy, so it is recommended to exercise caution and adjust driving conditions for any travel in this area,” the RCMP said in a release.
Canmore Fire-Rescue said Saturday morning there were no buildings at risk. They and the Town of Canmore also announced Saturday afternoon there was no evacuation concerns or wildfire threat to Canmore.
“Should this situation change, anyone impacted will be contacted by agencies responsible for evacuation. These agencies include Alberta Forestry, RCMP, and Canmore Fire Rescue,” The Town of Canmore wrote in a Facebook post.
Exshaw Fire-Rescue, Canmore Fire-Rescue and Alberta Agriculture and Forestry firefighters are on the scene of the fire. Canmore Fire-Rescue also tweeted a water tender from Kananaskis Emergency Services was also requested.
The police said multiple detachments were on the scene Friday in addition to ground and air firefighting units.
According to the Alberta Wildfire status map, the fire began at an estimated 10 hectares in size and was reduced to six hectares by Saturday afternoon.
The fire is the second major one this summer after a wildfire began July 23 near Lac des Arcs that burned 4.4 hectares of forest being it was put under control.
The wildfire also had multiple fire departments, 46 provincial firefighters, a water truck, an air tanker and six helicopters called in to fight the blaze that began around the rock cut by the Trans-Canada Highway.
A tweet from Alberta Wildfire on Friday night said there's more than 20 wildland firefighters on the scene along with five helicopters and air tankers helping to stop the fire from spreading.
The Calgary Forest Area has the risk of wildfire danger listed as extreme and the entire region – which includes the Bow Valley – is under a fire ban until further notice.
The Outlook will update the story as more information becomes available.