Grass fire burning west of city

UPDATE, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 10:02 a.m.
Classes are running and University of Lethbridge operations are back to normal today after the University ceased non-essential services late Monday afternoon in response to the grass fire event west of the city.
Everything at the University is fully operational today and the U of L expects no further interruptions of service related to the grass fire. The decision to shut down non-essential services and to cancel evening classes was made to help alleviate traffic to and from the University, allowing emergency services personnel clearer travel so that they could deal with the grass fire.
For further updates on the grass fire event, continue to monitor the City of Lethbridge website by following this link.
9:55 p.m.
Fire is now under control but fire crews will be working through the night. Evacuation orders are still in effect and will continue until it is safe to return. Estimated size of the fire is 4,800 hectares. Over 100 responders from Lethbridge and surrounding communities. Number of tanker drops by Alberta Sustainable Resources - 1 Bird Dog Plane, 2 Helicopters, 3 Tanker Planes.
9:45 p.m.
With the grass fire now under control and Lethbridge Fire overseeing hot spots, the University of Lethbridge has lifted its Emergency Alert notification.
Normal operations at the University of Lethbridge will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012. All classes will take place as scheduled.
For regular updates of the fire please continue to visit the City of Lethbridge at
For further updates pertaining to the University of Lethbridge please visit UNEWS at /unews/content/grass-fire-burning-west-city
9:34 p.m.
Lethbridge Fire is reporting that the grass fire is now under control but that they will be monitoring hot spots through the evening.
9:10 p.m.
Fire crews will continue to work through the night to control hot spots.
8:45 p.m.
Local state of emergency is still in affect for the City of Lethbridge. Fire and wind conditions will continue to be monitored through the evening.
8:35 p.m.
Hot spots are still burning and fire crews continue to work in various areas. Last air retardant drop has taken place for the night.
8:10 p.m.
Air operation will be making a second drop before nightfall. Ground crews continue to battle on the ground. All posted evacuations and alerts are still in place.
7:25 p.m.
Winds continue to gust and crews still working on ground and in the air. Evacuation alerts and evacuations remain in place.
6:05 p.m.
Fire crews continue to monitor the weather and are working on the fire west of Lethbridge. Planning at the Emergency Operations Centre is ongoing.
6:01 p.m.
RCMP have confirmed that Highway 3 remains closed between Lethbridge and Coalhurst.
5:54 p.m.
The City of Lethbridge has ordered a mandatory evacuation for Bridgeview Campground.
5:53 p.m.
When preparing for an evacuation, remember to take photos, important papers, ID, passports, pets & medications. Evacuees with pets are asked to register at the evacuation centres and leave the animals in the car until arrangements can be made.
5:21 p.m.
The University of Lethbridge is suspending all non-essential services and cancelling scheduled evening classes for tonight. At this point, University classes are scheduled to go ahead Tuesday, Sept. 11.
This is being done to help alleviate road congestion for emergency crews who are dealing with the current local state of emergency due to the wildfires burning west of Lethbridge. NOTE: THIS IS NOT AN EVACUATION OF CAMPUS.
Food services in University Hall will continue to operate to serve students residing on campus and staff members who are unable to leave campus.
This does not affect classes scheduled at our Calgary and Edmonton campuses.
For regular updates of the fire please visit the City of Lethbridge at
You can follow us on Twitter at @ulethbridgenews for the latest. You can also follow news from the City of Lethbridge at this link.

5:07 p.m.

The City of Lethbridge has order a mandatory evacuation for the Westside Trailer Court. These residents are asked to go to family and friends if it is safe to do so. They can also go to the Fritz Sick Centre or the ENMAX Centre. Bus is en route to help residents evacuate.

4:48 p.m.

Residents are asked to limit cell phone use during this time to keep lines clear for emergency services. As well, residents are asked to check on elderly and disabled neighbours and on those whose first language is not English.

Once again, no evacuations currently for the City of Lethbridge. Residents in Indian Battle Heights, Heritage Heights & West Highlands are to prepare for a possible evacuation.

3:52 p.m.

The City of Lethbridge has declared a local state of emergency and is preparing to evacuate residents of West Highlands and Indian Battle Heights.

3:50 p.m.

Emergency Alert Alberta has officially issued an evacuation notice for the Town of Coalhurst.

3:48 p.m.

Multiple news sources are reporting that the grass fire has jumped the river and the Town of Coalhurst is now being evacuated.

3:33 p.m.

There is currently no evacuation order issued for anyone within the City of Lethbridge. Official notifaction for evacuations will come from Emergency Alert Alberta.

3:02 p.m.

Coalhurst residents have now been put on alert in case they are asked to evacuate. The County of Lethbridge has declared a local state of emergency.

Parents of children who are currently in schools north of Whoop Up Drive are advised to pick up their children now, as these children are being sent home early.

2:51 p.m.

Lethbridge Fire Department is reporting that it has called for assistance from Nobleford and Coaldale to help battle the grass fire west of the city. The department has also staged heavy equipment west of Burnco in the event the fire progresses across the river and closes in on the city's west side. It has not yet jumped the river.

2:39 p.m. Update

The fire continues to progress rapidly as winds helped it jump Hwy 509. Residents of Mountain Meadows, Sunset Acres and Township 8-22 have been advised to evacuate immediately.

A grass fire burning west of the City of Lethbridge has crews from the Lethbridge Fire Department responding. Thick smoke is wafting over the Lethbridge area.