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Toxic smoke from fire at oil lease site triggers emergency alert in eastern Alberta

An out-of-control fire broke out at an oil lease site Tuesday afternoon in eastern Alberta, triggering an emergency air quality alert for people in the area for a few hours to due toxic smoke.

The scene is located 23 kilometres southeast of Mannville near Range Road 82 and Township Road 480, in Minburn County.

Crude oil is burning and toxic smoke is being produced. The smoke is dangerous if inhaled, the Alberta Emergency Alert issued at 5:17 p.m. said.

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“Emergency response is currently underway following a crude oil fire in the SE area of the county,” Minburn County posted to its website.

Firefighters from Wainwright, Irma , Vermilion, Paradise Valley and surrounding communities responded to the blaze.

“First responders and firefighting teams are actively working to contain and extinguish the flames. For safety reasons, we urge everyone to avoid the area to allow the crews to work efficiently.”

The alert was in effect for everyone in the area between Highway 41 and Highway 870; south of Vermillion or Innisfree and north of Wainwright.

People were ordered to shelter in place immediately, go inside and close all windows and doors.

No evacuation was required but people were told to prepare just in case. In the end, the alert was cancelled about two hours after it was issued.

The update said emergency crews got the fire under control and there was no longer any toxic smoke being released into the air.


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