On Monday, at 1:05 p.m, the Airdrie Fire Department responded to the report of a grassfire burning adjacent to CP Railway tracks in the area of Main Street and Sierra Springs Drive SE. Shortly after this initial incident was reported, several emergency calls to 9-1-1 reported additional grassfires burning near the railway tracks which run through the city limits.
It was determined that a CP Rail train, travelling northbound, inadvertently ignited numerous fires in tall, dry grass first starting south in the Balzac area and extending as far as Dickenson Stevenson Trail in the northwest quadrant of the city.
Numerous pieces of fire apparatus including bush buggies, water tenders, engines and all-terrain vehicles assisted fire crews from Airdrie, Rocky View County and Crossfield to battle blazes that were fanned by extreme, west-prevailing winds.
Heavy plumes of smoke temporarily limited visibility on the QE II Highway and surrounding roadways downwind.
CP Rail dispatched their Hazardous Materials Response Team to a location south of the city to extinguish a fire involving a large liquid propane storage tank that overheated before venting into the air.
RCMP, Municipal Enforcement and CP Police collaborated to ensure safety and security for both first responders and the public, during a challenging and dynamic emergency fire event.
There was a total of 17 pieces of fire apparatus and 35 firefighters from Airdrie, Rocky View County and Crossfield responding to multiple scenes.
There were no injuries reported.
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