Grass fires near Bruderheim, Alta., force residents to evacuate homes

Several large grass fires were burning in the area near Bruderheim, Alta., Saturday, forcing some residents to be evacuated from their homes, while others prepared to flee should things worsen.

Fire departments from Bruderheim, Lamont County, Chipman, Fort Saskatchewan and Strathcona County are all involved in fighting “multiple large grass fires,” according to a Fort Saskatchewan RCMP press release.

The press release said residents in the area of Range Road 204 between Township Roads 562 and 564 have been evacuated, through it’s not known how many residents are affected. On Twitter, evacuees were being urged by the Town of Bruderheim to check in at the Bruderheim Fire Hall at 5112 Queen Street.

Bruderheim is about 75 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. (Courtesy: Wade Poloway Photography)

Wind and dry conditions were an issue, said Bob Scott, deputy fire chief for Strathcona County. His crew — including 46 firefighters with 16 pieces of equipment, two bulldozers and a helicopter — was battling the blaze located within the Strathcona County boundary.

That fire threatened several farms but no buildings were lost and there were no formal evacuations, Scott said. Late Saturday, the fire had started to die down but Scott was expecting things to worsen again on Sunday when temperatures rise.

A fire advisory is in effect for the Town of Bruderheim which bans open fires in rural areas that normally require a permit. Barbecues and recreational fires with a screen are still allowed. 

In surrounding Lamont County, a complete fire ban was issued on May 3 which includes all open fires and rural burning.

Bruderheim is about 65 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Wildfire in northern Alberta

Meanwhile, a forest fire that started Saturday afternoon north of High Level, Alta., has closed a highway and forced the evacuation of a small campground on Hutch Lake.

Highway 35 was closed for a few hours about 30 kilometres north of High Level, as the fire burned on both sides of it.

A press release from High Level RCMP said the evacuation of the Hutch Lake cabins and campground is a precaution. A reception centre has been set up for evacuated people in Zama City.

High Level is 740 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. 





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Sherwood Park

Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area.[7] It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary,[8] generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road).[9] Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.[9]

Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016,[6] Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.

History

Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
Geography

The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton.[8] The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.

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