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Disaster centre opens for people forced out of homes by fire

Volunteers and people gathered Wednesday afternoon at Fort Macleod and District Community Hall look at a map of the MD of Willow Creek. People who live south of Township Road 100 who were forced by fire to leave their homes are to register at the hall or by calling 403-553-3511.

Fort Macleod area residents evacuated this afternoon during the massive prairie fire north of town are urged to register with the disaster centre.
People who have been evacuated are asked to register at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall or call 403-553-3511.
“They don’t have to stay, but we do need to know they are safe,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.
By registering at the disaster reception centre, people allow officials to know that people made it out of the fire safely.
The registration centre will also handle calls from relatives and friends concerned about the well-being of people in Fort Macleod and district.
Anyone who was evacuated who needs assistance is welcome to stay at the community hall, where coffee and refreshments are available.
“We’ve got a spot for them to come and let us know they are safe,” Fort Macleod Family and Community Support Services director Angie O’Connor said. “We can get some of their needs met if need be.”
The MD of Willow Creek this afternoon declared a state of emergency and ordered the evacuation of residents in Township 9, Ranges 26 and 27 and Township 10, Ranges 25 and 26.
People who live south of Township Road 100 are asked register at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall at 301 25th St.
Evacuees living north of Township Road 100 are to register at the Claresholm Community Centre at 59th Avenue and Eighth Street W.
People in the affected area who own livestock were advised to cut the fences and let them go, or take the animals to Midnight Stadium in Fort Macleod or the Claresholm Agricultural Society.
Fort Macleod Auction Market also offered to handle cattle. Call Justin Keeley at 403-647-6534.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Volker Stevin with the assistance of Fort Macleod and Claresholm RCMP began redirecting traffic on Highway 2 at Highway 519. Northbound traffic is stopped and southbound traffic is being rerouted to Highway 519.
Firefighters have the blaze under control, but heavy smoke continues to billow across Highway 2.