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'You can always rebuild': Southwestern Albertans allowed to view properties affected by wildfire

'You can always rebuild': Southwestern Albertans allowed to view properties affected by wildfire
From CBC - September 13, 2017

Some people of the hundreds of people forced to flee their homes in southwestern Alberta by the Kenow wildfire are being given a two-hour window Wednesday to view their properties and check on animals.

The wildfire had reached 42,000 hectares in size by Tuesday night, according to a fire map released by the Alberta government at 9:30 p.m.

It had quadrupled in size in less than two days, roaring through Waterton Lakes National Park and into the townsitewhere it destroyed the visitor's centre and some outbuildingsas well as forcingthe evacuation of about 500 people in total from Waterton and parts of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek, Cardston Countyand the Blood Reserve, the largest reserve in Canada.

On Wednesday morning, officials confirmed that five homes, five outbuildings, two large sheds and a bridge had been destroyed on private property in the Municipal Districtof Pincher Creek. The flames also consumed fence lines, hay, and some power lines.

'Theirproperty south of usunfortunately we have heard they did not fare so well We live in a great neighbourhood so we will all help out.' - Henry Primrose, Twin Butte resident

Henry Primrose said he was hopeful as he headed in to check on the property he owns near Twin Butte about 250 kilometres south of Calgary. He managedtotransporteight horses to the rodeo grounds at Pincher Creek, he said.

"I expect that everything is going to be fine when we get home," he said. "From what we hear, we do not have power so we have a two-hour window to load up our deep freeze and get it out of there and try and save it."

Primrose's neighbours were not as lucky.

"Their property south of usunfortunately we have heard they did not fare so well," he said. "Our hearts and prayers go out to her. From what we understand her livestock is fine and you can always rebuild. And we live in a great neighbourhood so we will all help out."

'Sigh of relief' that flames no longer threaten many homes

Those in the Pincher Creek area who lost theirhomes havebeen notified by police, said RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters. He said other homes and buildings in the area are no longer threatened by flames.

"Anybody that's still wondering should be able to have a little bit of a sigh of relief that if they have not spoken to us, their houses are still OK," he said.

No update was available by noon Wednesday for damage to other areas hit by the fire, including Cardston County and the Blood Reserve.

Crews now focused on backcountry structures in Waterton

Within theWaterton Lakes National Park boundary, crews are now focused on protecting structures in backcountry regions of the popular tourist area, officials said Wednesday.

Cooler temperatures help firefighters

How the fire spread

Evacuation centres

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