Fort McMurray fire disaster 'wakeup call' for dry communities west of Calgary
Redwood Meadows fire chief calls current conditions dangerous
Watching the dramatic and scary video of the devastating wildfire in Fort McMurray has some other Alberta towns wondering if they're well enough prepared.
That includes the communities of Redwood Meadows and Bragg Creek, west of Calgary, where firefighters say the area is extremely dry.
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Rob Evans, fire chief for Redwood Meadows, says his crews started preparations for the wildfire season a month ago.
"When fire season started for the forestry people, we went through all of our equipment. We have a couple of brush trucks, tanker trucks, that kind of thing, that we went through, made sure that everything was ready for the dry conditions and for a quick response," he said.
Evans says officials have been urging local residents to clean up dry forest debris in their yards and trim branches that touch their houses.
"Until we actually get some steady rain and some good growth of new grass, it's going to be dangerous," he said.
Bragg Creek resident Willie Prebushewsky says it's the driest he's seen it in two decades.
"I think Fort McMurray has really been a heck of a wakeup call," he said.