It's been one year since farmers and ranchers in the Bindloss area south of Oyen were forced from their lands by a wild fire that started on Canadian Forces Base Suffield.


The fire broke out on September 12, 2017 as the military was disposing of unexploded armaments in the middle of a fire ban. It burned 220 square kilometres on the base and another 58 square kilometres of farm land, forcing about 40 people to take shelter at Bindloss School.

"Some of the residents down there are still dealing with the Federal Government on some of the claims that have been made as a result of the fire," reported Jordon Christianson, Chair of the Special Areas board. "As dry as it was this year, I think we're still keeping an eye on some of the grasslands and haylands that have been affected and monitoring them for longer term recovery."

The affected area has native prairie grass, which Christianson noted can take years to recover after a fire.

"DND (Department of National Defence) did a board of inquiry to determine the causes of the event; they actually completed that in early 2018," stated Christianson. "They were saying that the fire did result from activities on the base, so that allowed for the people that were impacted to fil a claim with the federal government and that is work that has been kind of ongoing."

"I've been talking to a lot of them as we cross paths and there's some frustration out there on the claims process as far as timing and the process that they're actually having to go through on these claims for damages," he added. "It was a dramatic event, it had a huge impact on the community and I think people are still dealing with the aftermath."

Kilometres of fence line were destroyed and upwards of 160 head of cattle had to be put down after they were caught by the fast moving flames. A total of 15 claims had been filed by late July of this year, two of them have been settled and seven claimants have been offered interim payments.

More Local News

Tread Carefully in the Hills When Hiking or Running

If you are going to be hiking or running the hills in the valley, being prepared for any circumstance should be at the forefront of your thoughts. Morgan Syvertsen, an avid marathon runner, from…

Essential Oils and the Dangers to Your Pet

When it comes to essential oils and your pet, you may be surprised that some of the oils are down-right dangerous.

Seizure of Contraband at Drumheller Institution

A contraband bust at the Drumheller Institution occurred on Friday, January 18.

Keeping your Home Disaster Free

Maintenance and upkeep of your property investment are extremely important if you don't want to lose the value of your home.

Three Hills "Lawnmower Man" Photo Hits the Big Screen in Hollywood

A Three Hills couple is receiving some Hollywood attention after a picture they snapped went viral last summer.

New Playground Zone Gives Local Daycare Piece of Mind

Speed demons will have to look out for a new playground zone in town.

Highland Gala Fundraiser Allows For New Foundation at East Coulee School Museum

The East Coulee School Museum hosted a Highland Gala at the Badlands Community Facility, Saturday, January 19, to celebrate Robbie Burns Day.

River Safety This Winter

Use common sense when heading out for your nature walk if you plan to walk on the frozen river.

Grey Ford F350 Stolen from Local Dealership

You hear about it in the movies, but it actually happened in real life this time.

UCP Responds to the Departure of Rick Strankman from the Party

With the announcement by Rick Strankman that he is leaving the United Conservative Party, what does this mean for the local UCP Riding Association and the new UCP nominee? DrumFM reached out to the… is Drumheller's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide