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Lightning levels Harmattan-area shop barn

Didsbury Fire Department slowed by storm calls for mutual aid
MVT Didsbury Fire Department logo
The Didsbury Fire Department responded to a fire in Mountain View County that was started by lightning. File logo

DIDSBURY - A shop barn in Mountain View County burned to the ground after being hit by lightning on Aug. 3 when a storm rolled through the region.

Didsbury Fire Department Chief Curtis Mousseau said the structure had already burned to the ground by the time responders arrived.

“It affected a shop barn, about 80 by 26 feet — it was a total loss. It was down upon arrival,” said Mousseau.

The fire occurred on a property south of Harmattan just north of the Bergen Road along Rge. Rd. 40, he said, adding a serious storm that was slowing down his crew prompted a mutual aid call to Sundre Fire Department.

“We got Sundre to respond because we drove through a wicked hailstorm on the way out there,” he said.

Also providing additional assistance were the Olds and Carstairs fire departments, which each deployed an engine and a tender, he said.

“All told, we were about three hours from tone out to back at station in service,” he said.

While he did not have stats at his fingertips, Mousseau said the department does sometimes respond to bale stack or grass fires ignited by lightning strikes.

“It’s not totally common, but not unheard of,” he said.

The rest of the August long weekend was largely uneventful for the department, he said.

“Which is good. I’m always happy with quiet. I’m old enough to appreciate the quiet,” he said with a chuckle.

Members did respond to an early Saturday morning single vehicle collision on Highway 2 south of the Highway 582 overpass that resulted in no injuries. A motorist collided into the cable barrier separators in the median that prevent wayward vehicles from heading into oncoming traffic.


Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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