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71 homes, airport on evacuation alert due to Cranbrook, B.C., wildfire

A wildfire that’s already more than 2,500 hectares in size is now threatening dozens more homes and an international airport near the city of Cranbrook, B.C.

More residents were put on evacuation alert due to the St. Mary River fire, officials with the Regional District of East Kootenay said Thursday.

The area includes 71 homes in the following areas:

  • Clearview Road;
  • 8055 Highway 95A;
  • McGuinty Road;
  • 3497, 3503, 3509, 3567, 3624, 3639, 3684, 3703, 3706, 3716, 3721, 3734, 3750 and 3762 Mission-Wycliffe Road;
  • Pineridge Road; and
  • Sommerfeldt Road.

The alert is designed to give residents time to prepare to leave their homes if necessary, officials said in a statement.

“Taking the time at this stage to put together important papers (like insurance papers), medications, valuables, supplies for children and pets, and other important items can make a huge difference if they need to leave on a moment’s notice,” said Loree Duczek, regional emergency operations centre information officer.

Anyone with livestock should make similar preparations, officials said.

CANADIAN ROCKIES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AFFECTED

While dozens more homes have been put on alert, officials say a similar situation is facing the Canadian Rockies International Airport.

“The BC Wildfire Service has recommended that the City of Cranbrook-owned properties and leased areas at the Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC) to be placed under an evacuation alert,” the city said in a release on Thursday.

Flights at the airport will not be affected, officials said, but cautioned that “cancellations can occur due to smoke.”

“All required staffing and operational needs continue while on alert,” said Tristen Chernove, airport manager at YXC.

“Most flights have been operating and we expect on time scheduled flights to be continuing.”

There are 108 homes on evacuation alert because of the wildfire, while 15 are on evacuation order, officials said.

Officials say all affected residents should register for the regional evacuation notification system in order to receive the latest updates.

“This is a free service that will immediately notify you if your property is the subject of an evacuation alert or order,” Duczek said.

“It can sometimes take several hours to complete a door-to-door notification and this system can send thousands of notifications out in under a minute.”

Details on how to sign up for the service can be found online.

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