RCMP help evacuate Alberta village threatened by grass fire

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CARMANGAY, Alta. — Residents of a southern Alberta village were evacuating Sunday as a massive grass fire burned nearby, only hours after another fire destroyed the community‘s historic hotel. RCMP said they were helping to get residents out out Carmangay, about 150 kilometres south of Calgary, as the blaze burned out of control. Police said the fire spanned between 11 and 16 kilometres across. Carmangay Mayor Stacey Hovde, speaking by phone from the village, said he believed the blaze started about 20 kilometres west, but the distance had closed to ten kilometres a couple of hours later. “I can see the fire. I can see the smoke,” he said. Hovde said that on Saturday night, a separate fire destroyed the Grange Hotel in Carmangay, which had stood since 1905. Hovde said no injuries were reported. “We’re having a heck of a 24 hours,” he said. An Alberta Emergency Alert for the area that was issued at 3:15 p.m. local time warned of two wildfires that it said were burning between the towns of Stavely and Fort MacLeod. The alert advised people to prepare for possible evacuation. Police are asking people stay clear of Highway 520 east of Claresholm and Highway 23 from Barons to Carmangay. Hovde said residents of Carmangay were being directed south towards the community of Barons. This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 28, 2021. The Canadian Press

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