Grass fire in southeast Alberta leads to state of emergency, evacuation

A fire burning east of Calgary has led to a state of emergency being declared and a mandatory evacuation order being issued.

A grass fire is burning about 120 kilometres south of Oyen near the Saskatchewan border, in the area east of Range Road 2–3 south of Highway 555. The fire is on the north bank of the South Saskatchewan River and has not resulted in any injuries.

RCMP said the blaze was threatening about 15 homes. There are reports that one home has burned down.

About 40 people live in the area and residents have been asked to go the Bindloss School.

The evacuation order area extends east to Highway 41.

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Michelle Anderson, wife of the area fire chief, tells Global News her husband went out at about 6 p.m. on Monday to monitor the fire, but the blaze spread quickly.

“A couple hours later, it jumped the fence and everybody started going out and fighting all the fires.”

Anderson described the fire as “bad” and “huge.”

The town of Oyen is located about 280 kilometres east of Calgary.

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