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UPDATE: Rural grass fire incident concluded south of Madden

A downed power line is believed to be the initial cause, and strong winds, reaching up to 70 km/hr, have contributed to the fire's spread over approximately 350 acres.

A grassfire near Twp Rd. 280 and Range Rd. 23 just south of Madden, temporarily forced the evacuation of several nearby homes on Dec. 5 .

The RCMP began evacuating residents in certain areas near the fire zone in the early afternoon as fire crews battled the blaze.

A downed power line was believed to be the initial cause, and strong winds, reaching up to 70 km/hr, contributed to the fire's spread over approximately 350 acres.

While the evacuations ended at about 2:30 p.m. as the County announced the blaze had been contained by firefighters, local power outages had been expected to continue until 7:30 p.m. from Twp Rd. 280, extending north for one mile along Simon Valley Road, to allow for repairs.

Rocky View County emergency teams actively managed hot spots and reinforced the fire's perimeter throughout the day and into the evening to protect nearby structures and prevent the fire from reigniting and spreading further.

Utility services also worked closely working with fire crews to tackle any infrastructure issues caused by the fire.

In addition, municipal enforcement officers secured the area to ensure the safety of the public and the crews engaged in fire suppression efforts.

There was a strong response force on the scene, including fire crews from seven Rocky View County Stations, with additional support from Town of Crossfield, Mountain View County, City of Airdrie, and the Municipal District of Big Horn.

A public notice was issued by Rocky View County advising people to avoid non-essential travel in the area. Local RCMP evacuated residents in certain affected areas. The Crossfield Reception Centre has been opened to assist evacuees and to provide them with resources.

The County issued an updated fire advisory in wake of the blaze for east and west Rocky View County.

The fire advisory included a prohibition on all burning and suspended fireworks permits,. with the following exceptions: Indoor household fire places, Incinerators (for farm and acreage use), burning barrels, camp stoves, barbecues (charcoal briquettes, propane, or natural gas, wood pellet grills, propane/natural gas fire pit, recreational camp fires in approved burn pit, chimeneas, fires contained within approved facilities and appliances in designated camping and recreational areas, and oil well flaring (but these must register with central fire dispatch at 403-264-1022).

The County issued a statement following the successful effort by emergency response teams and other County workers.

"We extend our deepest gratitude to our residents for their quick actions and invaluable role in sharing safety messages," it said. "It's your collective support and cooperation that make Rocky View County a safe and resilient community.

"Our dedicated emergency teams, including local fire crews and mutual aid partners, worked tirelessly to bring the situation under control and support those affected. As we move forward, it is crucial that we remain vigilant and prepared. Please continue to follow official updates for the latest information and guidance on staying safe."

-With files from Tim Kalinowski/ Rocky View Weekly

Riley Stovka

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