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Residents of Coleman ordered to evacuate as wildfire threatens town

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2017-10-17 CBC/Radio-Canada
Residents of Coleman ordered to evacuate as wildfire threatens town © Robb Powell Residents of Coleman ordered to evacuate as wildfire threatens town

Residents on the western edge of Coleman in southwestern Alberta are being told to evacuate as a fast-moving wildfire, whipped up by strong winds, burns out of control. 

The Alberta Emergency Management Agency said the fire is burning in the area between the Sentinel Industrial Park and Coleman, but it's moving quickly.

"Everyone on Willow Drive must evacuate immediately," reads an alert from the agency. "Everyone else in Coleman should be prepared to evacuate on short notice. This wildfire is quickly moving east being driven by the strong winds that are blowing east."

Blair Painter, the mayor of Crowsnest Pass, which includes Coleman, said the evacuation could affect 200 to 250 homes. 

Highway 3, the main artery through the Crowsnest Pass, is closed west of the community.

The police are warning against travel in the area. 

"As of right now, we're experiencing 100 kilometre-plus winds. We believe that there was a downed power line that started this fire." said Painter.

"We're in the process of setting up an evacuation centre, for a place for the people to go."

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