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Trestle bridge blaze prompts evacuations

April 27, 2016, Mayerthorpe, Alta. - Thick black smoke from a fire engulfed a wooden trestle bridge and forced the evacuation of a school and trailer park northwest of Edmonton Tuesday afternoon.

April 27, 2016
By The Canadian Press

An Alberta emergency alert says firefighters are battling the blaze at the Canadian National Railway bridge on the outskirts of Mayerthorpe.

About 264 students at the nearby Mayerthorpe high school and residents of 38 mobile homes at the Kreek’s Krossing trailer park were sent to the town’s community centre.

Kevin Andrea, superintendent of Northern Gateway Public Schools, says there is a concern the smoke from creosote in the wood could cause health problems.

He says the high school students, along with children from the town’s elementary school, were sent home early.

Ashley Olsen, spokeswoman for the town of Mayerthorpe, says it’s not known what caused the fire.

Although the fire was not blowing into the town and there is no danger to the community, Olsen said residents have been advised to stay inside.

“We’re asking everyone who has respiratory issues or just anyone to stay indoors as the fire burns,” she said Tuesday.

A CN spokeswoman said crews were responding to the fire, there were no injuries and train traffic was not affected.