CN Wildfire Burns Conservation Area
This Railroaded news release describes a May 17, 2011 wildfire that burned 1.5 to 2 acres of forest and meadow in the Bretona ConservAction Area. See photos of the fire damages here. The fire was started by Canadian National Railway either from sparks caused by friction between rail car wheels and the tracks or by hot carbon fragments released from a locomotive stack. The Sherwood Park Fire Department will formally determine the cause of the fire.
CN and other railway companies start many wildfires across Canada. Landowners, municipal governments and provincial governments across the country have a difficult time dealing with CN wildfires in terms of extinguishing the fires, seeking firefighting costs, and seeking compensation for fire damages.
The May 17 fire occurred only 100 metres from the industrial rail yard built last year by Cando Contracting Ltd., Imperial Oil and CN to store up to 225 petroleum tank cars. Had the fire started in or moved into this rail yard, it would have been disastrous, because the petroleum tank cars and leaked oil, grease and solvents in the rail yard are very flammable.
Local residents continue their fight to get this rail yard shut down before a serious mishap occurs.