Current Problems


Alberta pipeline sparks wildfire west of Edmonton

April 17, 2024

More than two dozen firefighers are battling the blaze

TC energy pipeline causes wildfire

A wildfire burns near Edson, Alta., in this Tuesday, April 16, 2024 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Alberta Wildfire 

APTN News: The Canadian Press – The Canadian Energy Regulator says it’s working with the province and federal departments after a natural gas pipeline owned by TC Energy Corp. ruptured near Edson, Alta.,200 km from Edmonton on Tuesday, sparking a wildfire.

“Preliminary information indicates that a 36″ natural gas pipeline ruptured around 10:45 a.m. on April 16, 2024. The rupture caused a small wildfire on Crown land, which is being held.”

Held means that with the “current weather conditions and resources, the wildfire is not anticipated to grow past expected boundaries,” according to an update by Alberta wildfire.

“All TC Energy personnel working nearby were safely evacuated and there are no reported injuries. The company reported that it notified nearby communities, and there were no direct impacts to landowners or Indigenous communities. The company is working with local authorities and has activated its emergency response plan,” said the regulator.

The CER has said that they will be onsite to monitor and assess the situation

The Calgary-based pipeline operator confirmed the rupture in a statement late Tuesday afternoon. TC Energy also owns the Coastal Gaslink Pipeline that is running through Wet’suwet’en territory.

“We are working closely with first responders in the region, including RCMP, Yellowhead County and Alberta Wildfire,” the company said in a statement released online.

Alberta Wildlife has confirmed in an update that the secondary fire is now being “held”.

“28 wildland firefighters, heavy equipment and a helicopter will be assisting with extinguishing the wildfire. The fire crews will begin hotspotting, which consists of digging into the ground, looking and feeling for any hotspots that could re-surface,” said an update with Alberta wildfire.

TC Energy Corp. had said in a statement released earlier in the day that it was alerted at approximately 11 a.m. Tuesday of an “incident” on its NGTL pipeline system in Yellowhead County.

The company said the affected section of the pipeline had been isolated and shut down, and there were no reports of injuries.

But Charlotte Charbonneau, area information co-ordinator with Alberta Forestry and Parks, told the Canadian Press that the pipeline incident had sparked a wildfire in the area that — as of mid-afternoon — was 10 hectares in size.

Charbonneau said the fire had not threatened any communities and that Alberta Wildfire had 12 wildland firefighters and eight pieces of heavy equipment at the site. Air tankers and a helicopter were also available to assist.

“The fire is still classified as out of control, but firefighters are making really good progress,” she said. “They will continue working until probably darkness, trying to contain the fire, and then will resume work in the morning.”

Charbonneau added that the current dry grass conditions in the Edson area mean wildfires can catch and burn quickly. She said any spark, hot exhaust or friction near dry vegetation can cause a wildfire.

TC Energy’s NGTL pipeline system transports natural gas from Alberta and northeast B.C. to domestic and export markets. The system spans 24,631 kilometres and connects with TC Energy’s Canadian Mainline system, Foothills system and other third-party pipelines.

While some of TC Energy’s customers were temporarily impacted while the affected pipeline segment was being isolated, the company said late Tuesday afternoon that the remainder of its system was operating normally.

In a statement posted to its website, Yellowhead County said there was no more gas leaking from the pipeline and there was no threat to the public.

The county said it had been determined “there was pipeline involvement,” but the cause of the fire remained under investigation.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has sent an investigator to the scene.

TC Energy said it would provide additional information as it becomes available and that it has notified “regulators, customers, stakeholders and Indigenous communities.”

The company is also the company that runs Coastal GasLink’s pipeline through Wet’suwet’en territory.

Across the province there have been 136 instances of wildfires in protected forests, burning 514 ha, up from 82 ha in the same period 2023, according to the government update.

With files from the Canadian Press.

Contribute Button
Continue Reading

Carmacks woman died at shelter after being placed face down inquest hears


Danielle Paradis,