Canada Ranch near Waterton burned down by wildfire

03:40  14 september  2017
03:40  14 september  2017 Source:   MSN

Waterton Lakes backcountry closed due to nearby wildfire

  Waterton Lakes backcountry closed due to nearby wildfire A nearby wildfire and an extreme fire hazard have forced Parks Canada to shut down all backcountry use in Waterton Lakes National Park until further notice. The townsite remains open, but all off-trial hiking, scrambling and climbing in the park is prohibited. Crandell campground and all backcountry campgrounds are closed, as is the Red Rock Parkway.Visitors can still access the Cameron Lake day-use area, but any use of the lake is prohibited.

Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo. With a forecast calling for rain for the next few days, crews fighting a wildfire in "We have this old cowboy hat that was my great-great grandpa's. That's burned down ," she said.

— Members of a southern Alberta ranching family say they will rebuild after a wildfire swept through their property just outside Waterton Lakes National Park. That's burned down ," said Garner.

  Ranch near Waterton burned down by wildfire © Provided by thecanadianpress.com WATERTON, Alta. - Members of a southern Alberta ranching family say they will rebuild after a wildfire swept through their property just outside Waterton Lakes National Park.

"We'll get everything back up and running as soon as we possibly can and we'll continue to ranch in that area for many more generations," said Melody Garner-Skiba, who has considered the Rocking Heart Ranch home since she was nine years old.

Her father, former Saskatchewan politician Jim Garner, and his wife Angel bought the horse ranch more than three decades ago.

The red log house, feed yard, barn and arena were destroyed. The only thing left standing is a shop housing farm equipment and supplies that happened to be surrounded by gravel.

Kenow wildfire burns north through park and beyond, but Waterton townsite spared

  Kenow wildfire burns north through park and beyond, but Waterton townsite spared Kenow wildfire burns north through park and beyond, but Waterton townsite sparedLashing at the western boundaries of Waterton Lakes National Park since Friday, the Kenow wildfire’s devastating journey across the continental divide tore a fiery path through the beloved southwestern Alberta park — mercifully sparing much of the townsite but broke north along the entrance highway.

Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo. With a forecast calling for rain for the next few days, crews fighting a wildfire in “We have this old cowboy hat that was my great-great grandpa’s. That’s burned down ,” she said.

— Members of a southern Alberta ranching family say they will rebuild after a wildfire swept through their property just outside Waterton Lakes National Park. That's burned down ," said Garner.

Garner-Skiba said the family has decided that everything will be rebuilt.

"This has typically always been our motto: when you knock a Garner down, we just come back up swinging a little harder."

A grass fire ignited just outside the north part of the park on Monday night, which authorities have said may have been sparked by a blowing ember from the Kenow wildfire burning to the southwest.

Garner-Skiba said just minutes after her father told her the fire was 20 kilometres away and everything was fine, he called back to say he was ordered to leave immediately.

"What happened? How did this come on so quickly?," Garner-Skiba recalled wondering.

Her niece, Sierra Garner, said she was awoken Monday night with news her grandpa and nana were under an evacuation order.

Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approaches

  Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approaches Waterton Lakes National Park ordered to evacuate as wildfire approachesResidents and visitors must leave the area immediately, officials said as the evacuation order was issued Friday afternoon.

Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo. With a forecast calling for rain for the next few days, crews fighting a wildfire in “We have this old cowboy hat that was my great-great grandpa’s. That’s burned down ,” she said.

— Members of a southern Alberta ranching family are leaning on each other for support after a wildfire swept through the property just outside Waterton Lakes National Park. That's burned down ," she said. "Everything that they own and our stuff as well was in there, everything."

The two women and some other family members were able to travel from Lethbridge to check on the ranch Tuesday morning.

"There was not a lot left," Garner, 20, said Wednesday.

Jim and Angel's children and grandchildren regularly help out on the ranch in their spare time.

Treasured family keepsakes inside the house were destroyed.

"We have this old cowboy hat that was my great-great grandpa's. That's burned down," said Garner.

Garner-Skiba added that walls of the house were lined with family photos dating back more than a century and with Jim's hunting trophies.

The pair said the family is grateful everyone got out safely and none of the 100 or so horses on the ranch was hurt.

"We went back in on Tuesday expecting to see actually corpses of horses and we'd actually taken our guns because we thought we would have to put some animals down because they were caught in the fire," Garner-Skiba said.

Alberta town empty except for firefighters

  Alberta town empty except for firefighters WATERTON, Alta. - A town in an Alberta national park that would normally still be teeming with late summer visitors is now empty except for emergency workers who are preparing to save its buildings from a wildfire. "The only people left in town are for firefighting purposes," RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said Saturday from the Waterton townsite, a day after Parks Canada ordered the evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park. "The only people left in town are for firefighting purposes," RCMP Cpl. Curtis Peters said Saturday from the Waterton townsite, a day after Parks Canada ordered the evacuation of Waterton Lakes National Park.

Fire damage to the Rocking Heart Ranch just outside Waterton Lakes National Park is shown in a handout photo. With a forecast calling for rain for the next few days, crews fighting a wildfire in Waterton Lakes National Park and the surrounding area in southern Alberta have some reason for

Members of a southern Alberta ranching family are leaning on each other for support after a wildfire consumed most of the property.

Her niece said material items can be replaced.

"We'll get a new house, we'll get a new barn, arena," she said. "We'll rebuild everything. But if we would have lost any lives, that would have been a different story, and thank gosh we didn't."

Garner said her grandparents are holding up well.

"I've got very strong grandparents," she said. "They're doing OK. Without our family here, we wouldn't be as calm and collected as we are because we all support each other."

The Alberta government says around 500 people are under evacuation order in the Waterton Lakes National Park townsite and parts of Cardston County, the Municipal District of Pincher Creek. The Blood reserve, a First Nations community southwest of Lethbridge lifted its evacuation order on Wednesday afternoon.

The wildfire was estimated at 440 square kilometres on Wednesday, up from 114 thousand square kilometres two days earlier.

The fire has not spread into the national park's townsite, but has destroyed its visitor centre and other buildings.

Parks Canada said Wednesday the townsite was not under immediate threat, but the fire was still active in the area.

It said cooler temperatures, higher relative humidity and northeast winds were in the forecast and that rain later in the evening could provide some relief.

However, the agency cautioned that intense fire behaviour is still possible in these dry conditions.

The Municipal District of Pincher Creek said Wednesday that the fire destroyed five homes, five outbuildings, two large sheds and one bridge on private property. As well, fence lines, hay and power lines burned.

— By Lauren Krugel in Calgary

Waterton newlyweds spend honeymoon trying to make family cottage safe from wildfire .
Waterton newlyweds spend honeymoon trying to make family cottage safe from wildfireIt wasn’t exactly the honeymoon they’d dreamed of.

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