Calgary

Colley-Urquhart to host Tsuu T'ina fire town hall

A town hall meeting will be held Tuesday night for Calgarians looking to voice concerns over how the fire on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation earlier this month was handled.
Smoke from the fire entered Calgary's southwest, as seen in this file photo. (Maureen Miller/CBC)

A town hall meeting will be held Tuesday night for Calgarians looking to voice concerns over how the fire on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation earlier this month was handled.

Alderman Diane Colley-Urquhart organized the event for Ward 13 residents and those in Calgary’s southwest to address lingering questions.

"There’s a real need for the neighbours to kind of come together to share their experiences first hand, not only with me, but with each other."

The fire was so close, many thought their own home, or their neighbours’ homes, were on fire, said Colley-Urquhart.

Woodcreek Community Association president Cecil Jahrig says he’s heard many complaints.

"People, as I say, were concerned, wouldn't let their kids out, anyone who had breathing problems were very concerned, worried about what might happen if they were out, or if this went on for any length of time," said Jahrig.

The landfill burned for three days, sending heavy smoke and a strong smell through the air.

Though an air quality advisory was issued for Calgary during the time, some residents have said that wasn’t enough, said Jahrig.

"The city could have possibly done a little bit more to let people know what was happening, how soon it would be cured, which they may not have known."

Colley-Urquhart said she hopes the meeting will help to answer any questions residents have, as well as to help build a chronology of what happened.

"A number of the neighbours are significantly upset, first off how they found out about the fire, content of the smoke they were inhaling in their home, they're wondering about the emergency response."

Fires on the reserve are handled by the band fire department unless they ask for help.

It's not known if a representative from the Tsuu T'ina First Nation will be at the meeting.

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