By MEDICINE HAT NEWS on July 3, 2021.
The Trans-Canada Highway was down to one lane Thursday afternoon as Brooks RCMP and fire crews battled a grass fire sparked by a vehicle fire west of Suffield in the afternoon.
Authorities warned motorists of the blaze burning along the highway five kilometres west of Suffield at Range Road 105 at about 3 p.m. Two hours later the lanes were reopened as the fire had moved northward, and the fire was considered contained by 6:30 p.m. The blaze consumed a barn but no other structures as it moved quickly for about one mile north along the range road, which it did not jump.
Blaze near Gleichen
Police in Gleichen have charged a man with arson after he was reportedly seen lighting fires near the Bow River on the Siksika Reserve early Thursday morning.
The office of the band announced the non-resident was taken into custody by the RCMP shortly after receiving a call from the public at about 7 a.m. on July 1. Siksika fire services contained the fire reported substantial damage to environmental areas and a cultural site, though no structures were damaged.
The provincial fire investigator and RCMP continue to investigate. The suspect, stated to be a Caucasian male, was later named as Philip John Strange, 40, of Langdon.
Fire bans across Saskatchewan
Fire bans were imposed in all provincial parks and Crown land in Saskatchewan, including Cypress Hills blocks in the southwest, and a general fire warning was issued by the province on Friday.
As of noon on Friday there was no fireban for the Alberta portion of the west block on the Alberta Parks restrictions list. All outdoor fires are banned in Cypress County, as of June 29, and the City of Medicine Hat and Town of Redcliff are also restricting fires within corporate limits.
Against the Alberta boundary, bans were in place in the rural municipalities of Maple Creek, Enterprise and Deer Forks, as well as Fox Valley and Gull Lake and the towns of Richmound and Sceptre.