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Grass fires tear up the countryside

On April 21 there were grass fires in both Ponoka and Hobbema.

Although the weather cannot make up its mind, the one thing that is for sure is that the land is dry and the wind is blowing.

Because of these conditions there have been many grassfires all over the province of Alberta, including the Ponoka area.

On April 21, from downtown looking out to the riverside area, it looked like the town caught fire. A closer look showed that on 38 street a field and a tree line were quickly being eaten up by flames.

The Ponoka Fire Department believes that the flame was caused by a spark arrestor.

The fire swept through the countryside and burnt badly. Some sheds and a couple of hydro poles burned down. A few residents were left without power for a while.

The weather that day was warm with a moderate wind.

Down the road in Hobbema, there were other grassfires being fought. On April 21 the Muskwachees Fire Department battled the flames for a large grass fire on Two Mile Road Samson. The fire department requested RCMP assistance for traffic control and evacuation of nearby houses.

The fire was out of control and trailer #33 was lost to the flames. The residents had been evacuated before the fire traveled to their home. Two other residences also were damaged by the fire.

A residence on 3 Mile Road Samson was also engulfed by the flames. During the course of the fire there were no firefighters or band members injured.

The Hobbema RCMP had another six or seven calls for assistance for traffic control and evacuations for out of control grassfires. They were along Highway 2A south of Hobbema, RR#255 on Highway 611 West, Louis Bull Townsite, along Muddy Bull Road in Louis Bull, 3 Mile Road Samson, 5 Mile Road Samson, 6 Mile Road Samson, and in the field west of Hobbema RCMP.

It wasn’t until 8:30 p.m. that the fire department reported that all fires were under control and that a declaring a state of emergence was not necessary.

The Muskwachees Fire Department believes that the cause for the largest fire was likely due to the local garbage waste site.

The Muskwachees Fire Department, Ermineskin Fire Department, Louis Bull Fire Department, Wetaskiwin City/County Fire Department and Ponoka Fire Department all worked together to help put out the flames.