Blood Tribe declares state of emergency due to nearby wildfire

Jim Garner lost his house and barn at the Rocking Heart Ranch on the border of Waterton Lakes National Park. His family and their horses made it to safety

In Pincher Creek, the evacuation notice came without warning just after 10 p.m. MT Monday.

The order includes residents between Waterton Park and Highway 800 from the US border to Township Road 40. There have also been some evacuation orders in surrounding rural communities.

Thank you to the fire crews, Parks Canada staff, provincial and local partners, and emergency management organizations from across the country who continue to work tirelessly to slow the progress of the wildfire and protect key infrastructure and resources. The reserve is divided into zones, and zone one - the southernmost zone - is now under evacuation order, while zone three - just north of zone one - has been put on notice.

The fire could reach the Akamina Pass later today, according to Parks Canada, and fire crews will ignite their own fire in order to steer the flames and reduce the potential for spot fires to ignite from embers.

“Elsewhere in the park infrastructure has been compromised, ” the press release states.

Rocking Heart Ranch
Much of Rocking Heart Ranch burned overnight Monday

Alberta Emergency Services issued a mandatory evacuation order late Monday evening for residents of the Municipal District of Pincher Creek No. 9 just north of the park.

Parks Canada says as of Monday, the Kenow fire had covered about 114 square kilometres and travelled another 4.5 kilometres southeast along the Akamina Valley during Sunday's burning period and as of Monday morning was approximately 1.5 kilometres from Akamina Pass.

Jared Pierson lives just down the road from the park and chose to drive there to check on things, only to find the park engulfed by fire.

In Cardston, evacuees are being directed to the Civic Center at 67 3rd Avenue W.in the Town of Cardston, or to call them at 403-653-3366.

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