Rural landowners west of Calgary warn about wildfires in wake of Fort McMurray

BRAGG CREEK, Alta. – A former firefighter in Fort McMurray is now urging residents in Rocky View County to be more aware of wildfire risks.

Fire Chief Randy Smith, a firefighter for 10 years in Fort McMurray, told a meeting of the Rocky View 2020 Landowners in Balzac that they can’t take fire safety for granted.

ChangSha Night Net


  • Fort McMurray wildfire: How to see if your power and natural gas are back on

  • Fort McMurray wildfire: Bank of Canada says Alberta wildfires will slow economic growth

    “You have a rural property and there is a responsibility to first of all look after your own property,” Smith said. “Just maybe put in a little bit of insurance there, or at least mitigate the chances of having a catastrophic event come along and burn your house down.”

    READ MORE: Global’s ongoing coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfires

    Simple things like cutting grass and clearing dead brush around a property, keeping firewood from being stacked against a building, switching to non-combustible siding and asphalt roofs can make a big difference.

    Mark Kamachi lives and works in Bragg Creek, about 50 kilometres west of Calgary.

    His home and business are surrounded by trees, so the fire in Fort McMurray has been a wake-up call.

    He says he’s more concerned about visitors, tourists and campers using the forests around his home.

    “Human error is a cause of a lot of these fires, so I think we–as a community or people coming into the community–have to be aware of the risks you take or the dangers you can cause,” Kamachi said.

    The fire chief for Redwood Meadows, which serves Bragg Creek, says they began planning for the fire season long before Fort McMurray.

    “Preparation is always your first step in emergency response…So being prepared to respond,” Rob Evans said. “We’re always changing for the season.”

    Rural landowners who want to update fire safety around their property can contact the Rocky View Fire Department at 403-230-1401 for a free FireSmart assessment.

    Watch below: Ongoing video coverage of the Fort McMurray wildfires

    Fort McMurray fire continues to grow but re-rentry plans remain on track


    Fort McMurray fire continues to grow but re-rentry plans remain on track


How long will it take Fort McMurray to return to a state of ‘normalcy’?


Phased re-entry plan for oilsands camps near Fort McMurray begins


Fort McMurray wildfire: fire size estimated to cover 522,895 hectares


Fort McMurray wildfire: Cold, wet weather in province did not reach wildfire areas