It was a stressful and smoky weekend for residents and first responders in the Heartland region.

When two wild fires started on Saturday (May 12) just north of Bruderheim, the town was ready to help those who evacuated or left their homes as a precaution.

“The Town of Bruderheim opened up the fire hall just so the rural residents could come in and register with us,” said the town’s deputy director of emergency management, Sherry Cote. “The purpose was to make sure they had a place to go and also to be that link to make sure they got updates on the fire.”

They had 13 people check in with them over the weekend. As of 9 a.m. Monday (May 14) most could return home.

“At this time the residents are all home with the exception of one, who we expect will be at home sometime today,” said Cote.

The Bruderheim Fire Department posted an update on Facebook around 8 a.m. Monday.

"Crews just completed an extensive patrol of the fire areas north of town this morning. Things are still looking good. Many of the hotspots are well within the burned area and pose little risk. As was mentioned in the previous post, smoke is now the concern. If you have any respiratory issues please take special care which could include staying indoors whenever possible. Wind is currently out of the NW so it is bringing smoke from Westlock County, Strathcona County and Lamont County into town."

“They were safe at all times, but we didn’t want to take any chances. We wanted to make sure everybody had that safety factor, and make sure no residences were threatened," said Lamont County regional fire chief David Zayonce.

He gave kudos to the Town of Bruderheim for stepping up and preparing meals for the crews.

"That was awesome, a God send," he noted.

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