A crew from the Ponoka Fire Department is heading to southern Alberta to help with wildfires.
A press release from the Town of Ponoka Sept. 12 stated that PFD Fire Chief Jamie Wilkinson and three other firefighters are heading to the Provincial Operations Centre in southern Alberta.
“They were asked to report to a staging area for emergency operations near the wildfires currently burning in southern Alberta,” states the release.
“Mandatory evacuation notices have been issued to residents located south of Highway 505 to Waterton Park, affecting residents in the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, Cardston County and Blood Reserve #148.”
Firefighters accompanying Wilkinson are Sharon Klinger, Mark Pischke and Tracy Hillaby. Ken Kraft takes over the acting Fire Chief for the PFD for the time being.
“With such dry conditions in Western Canada resulting in these uncontrolled wildfires, the Town of Ponoka wants to do whatever we can to help,” stated Mayor Rick Bonnett in the release.
He pointed out that the PFD crew deployed will be under the unified command of federal and provincial officials coordinating emergency operations efforts in southern Alberta.
An acting fire chief has been appointed in Wilkinson’s absence, and the fire protection of the Town of Ponoka will be well looked after by the remaining crews and equipment in place at the PFD.