VIDEO: Clinton-area residents say controlled burn went ‘horribly wrong’

Officials point to a “dramatic and unforecasted shift” in the wind

Residents near 20 Mile Ranch and south of Clinton are voicing their anger on social media after what they call a “controlled burn gone horribly wrong” caused the flames to jump across Highway 97.

Photos posted to Facebook on Tuesday show heavy smoke near rural properties in the Loon Lake area near Maiden Creek.

“It was about 15 minutes from the time they started until the hydro transistor on the big pole blew apart and maybe a few more minutes until it crossed west onto Hwy 97,” one post on the 20 Mile Ranch Facebook group reads.

“There were some very strong winds blowing when they started that didn’t just magically appear after the burn was already going. This fire is now raging on another mountainside and it’s going to be a beastly one to gain any control on.”

Fire information officer Heather Rice said Wednesday morning fire crews were focused on holding the fire on the hill, away from the highway.

“We actioned that immediately with lots of water from the helicopters and air skimmers and were able to hold that fire,” Rice said. “It went up to the top of the ridge and then stalled, which is often what happens in the evening when a fire hits the top of a hill. So the plan today is, of course, to hold it in that particular spot.”

Highway 97 remains closed from Loon Lake to the Hwy. 99 junction. An evacuation order was issued for areas south and west of Clinton Wednesday afternoon.

Chief fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said Wednesday afternoon there had been a “dramatic and unforecasted shift in the wind,” which caused the fire spillover.

“At the time it was ignited, the weather was as forecasted and a lot of design goes into when we do these things,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is when fires get to this size, the use of the controlled ignition is one of the best hacks that we have in terms of trying to control them.”

I am writing this post from Maiden Creek in the middle of our field at 4:15 am. It is with the saddest of heart that I…

Posted by Teri-Lyn Dougherty on Wednesday, August 2, 2017

— More to come.

Just Posted

United Way Central Alberta holds Sockey Night

Sockey Night in Red Deer is Oct. 21st

Sexual and Gender Diversity Campaign set for next week

Red Deer College’s Students’ Association hosting campaign Oct. 24th and 26th

Red Deer’s election results declared official

New council sworn in on Oct. 23rd

Shalom Counselling to hold evening of celebration

Fall FriendRaiser takes place tomorrow night in Red Deer

Northbound Highway 2 lanes scheduled to open this weekend

One of Red Deer’s busy interchanges set to open northbound lanes Oct. 22nd

WATCH: Foster and Kinship Caregiver Week on now

Red Deer ceremony honours foster families

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Outspoken Mountie assigned to admin duties for refusing to shave goatee

The 15-year veteran of the force said he believes the RCMP is targeting him

Victim in fatal ammonia leak remembered for his passion and smile

Friends and colleagues remember Lloyd Smith as someone who was always willing to help people

Plane lands on Highway 97 near Prince George

Pilot safely makes emergency landing on a highway

Canadian planet hunter seeking alien life

‘The shifting line of what is crazy’ says Toronto-born astrophysicist

Firefighter dies battling wildfire in Alberta

“It’s terrible. It will devastate the community for a while here. He’ll surely be missed.”

Health ministers to talk cannabis, opioids

Health ministers set to discuss cannabis and opioids during two-day meeting in Edmonton

Most Read