Landowner notices residue of grass fire on Paintearth Valley land

A powerline may be the cause of a small 2-acre fire that happened in the Paintearth Valley recently. The circled area shows where the fire burned to the tree line. Investigations are still underway by ATCO. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Terri Huxley

A powerline may be the cause of a small 2-acre fire that happened in the Paintearth Valley
recently. The circled area shows where the fire burned to the tree line. Investigations are still
underway by ATCO. ECA Review/Submitted

On Sat. April 3, landowner Brian Perreault was checking his pasture when he found a two-acre patch of scorched land on his property.

He explained to The Review that the patch was found to have possibly started by an ATCO powerline and moved north before stopping.

His theory is that the fire ended where there was still an area of snow coverage along a tree line that gave enough moisture to end it.

Perreault reported that he spoke with ATCO about the situation who then attended the scene that same day.

The Stettler Office shared that they had patrolled this area by way of helicopter on Tues. March 30 and found nothing of concern leaving the window for the fire to start between March  30 to April 3.

No neighbours have reported seeing the fire indicating it may have started at night.

According to Perreault ATCO will investigate the site on Tues. April 6 but The Review was unable to receive the results of this by press time.

Perreault added that he only has access to 10 per cent of his land in the valley by quad or by foot which makes emergency situations difficult to contain.

“It’s real concerning because they [fires] could wipe out a guy’s livelihood and there is no way that the fire departments are ever going to put it out,” he said.

“Where the last one was, at least it was shallow as it was the beginning of the coulee so they could get to it. 

“Where this one happened, it was three-quarters of a mile east of the [Tinchebray] substation. There is not much access down there to get to it. 

“Until we are able to put fires out with a quad, you’re not putting it out.”

“It’s always worrying to people in the area and yet ATCO wants to expand everything out here. I just don’t understand it.”

“If it would have been in the fall time there would have been no stopping it.”

 

Terri Huxley
ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.