Canadian Pacific Kansas City (CPKC) railway workers were out ‘firing up’ the tracks in downtown Ponoka across from Hammy’s around 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 8.
According to CPKC spokesperson Terry Cunha, the crew was performing regular maintenance work, using a heat torch to thaw out the tracks.
Ponoka County protective services coordinator Donna Noble said CP isn’t required to notify fire services of any burns or work using flames on or near the tracks going through the town or county.
Noble speculated the crew was probably de-icing the tracks or thawing out switches.
Sometimes railway crews burn overgrown, dry grass in the ditches along the tracks which prevents sparks from the tracks starting fires when the weather warms up, said Noble.
Noble added Ponoka County residents are also not required to notify fire services about burn piles until the start of fire season on March 1, but they’re usually good at giving them a heads up anyways, which is appreciated.
Fire season is from March to the end of October annually.