People evacuated as brush fires rage 

People evacuated as brush fires rage

4 May 2009

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Canada — Wildfires continue to cause evacuations northeast of Edmonton with a state of local emergency now declared by Lamont County Council for Divisions 5 and 3.

People were being evacuated from areas within Lamont County late Monday afternoon, but not from the town itself.

The area’s public emergency broadcast system provided details for evacuated residents, asking they report to the Lamont Recreation Centre.

This comes after a brush fire in Strathcona County prompted the evacuation of residents Monday afternoon. Occupants of 16 homes were evacuated. Their situation won’t change until the morning, when county staff re-evaluate the fire threat.

As of Monday evening, a huge fire along the northern edge of Strathcona County was burning out-of-control, threatening property in its path. The change in wind direction made an evacuation necessary.

“The wind seems to change from minute-to-minute,” said Cst. Wally Henry, Monday afternoon. “The fire seems to be travelling southeast. There have been people evacuated from their homes.”

The Moyer Recreation Centre in Josephburg was set up as an evacuation centre for those in need, but as was the case Sunday, services there were not needed.

“We have the gymnasium set up — we (were) expecting up to 100 people,” said Garnet Munro with Strathcona County Fire and Emergency Services. “There is washroom facilities, shelter to keep them out of the weather, and there is an area where a family can sleep overnight if required.”

Meantime, a little further north, near the town of Bruderheim, residents were closely watching a fire burning within three kilometres north of the community. It wasn’t believed to be threatening any people or property, as the wind eased Monday evening.

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