Forest fire smoke envelops central Alberta
- Forest fire smoke envelops central Alberta
WebPosted Fri May 25 17:43:59 2001
CHISHOLM, ALTA. - A huge wildfire burning out of control in central Alberta has almost doubled its size during the last 24 hours and has now engulfed 7,300 hectares, officials say.
Seven helicopters and five water bombers are dousing the area with water, hoping to dampen the flames so that some of the 160 firefighters on the scene can tackle the blaze from the ground.
Bulldozers are also being used to try to build a wall to contain the flames.
About 20 families who live nearby have been told to pack their bags in case they need to leave in a hurry. No houses have been burned so far.
The fire started Wednesday night near the community of Chisholm. By Thursday, smoke had drifted into Edmonton, 200 kilometres to the south.
Visibility in the immediate area has been reduced to one kilometre and health officials have issued an air quality advisory.
Officials think the blaze might have been started by a spark from a train.
It's the region's driest spring in 130 years. The forecast calls for high winds, but no rain. And firefighters say it could be weeks before they get the blaze under control.
Written by CBC News Online staff
Forest Fire Alerts (Alta. Environment)