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Oct 6 2020

Keystone XL crews help battle wildfires

Posted by Keystone XL

Keystone XL crews help local landowners respond to a wildfire near Oyen, Alta.

We often emphasize how we are part of the communities where we live, operate and build our projects. Actions speak louder than words. Recently, two separate wildfires ignited during harvesting activities by local landowners along our right-of-way, in areas where we operate, and we answered the call for help.

One landowner, Jim Ness, was in the middle of his fall harvest when a fire broke out on his property near Oyen, Alta. Knowing Keystone XL construction crews were in the area, Ness contacted his TC Energy land agent, asking for any help we might provide. Our construction manager immediately worked with Michels Canada, our prime contractor on current Keystone XL construction in the area, to dispatch nearby water trucks and crews to the property.

After a quick assessment of the hazards to ensure it would be safe, Michels’ crews mobilized to the property to fight the fire. The crews successfully put out the fire and worked with local emergency authorities that arrived a short time later to extinguish any remaining hot spots.

We really appreciate the quick action and response of TC Energy and their contractor Michels during the panic of this fire. The fact that the Keystone XL Project would send their water trucks to help us demonstrates that TC Energy and Michels really want to show their appreciation to the community. It’s a good thing.”

Jim Ness
Oyen area landowner

Unfortunately, the fire burned about 30 acres, but given the extremely dry and windy conditions at the time, it could have been much worse.

A similar incident in the Oyen area happened a few weeks later where we were available to help extinguish a fire on a nearby property before too much damage was done.

Building and maintaining positive relationships with our stakeholders is an important part of our business. We are proud of the relationships we’ve built with thousands of landowners across North America, and we strive to be a good neighbour in the communities where we operate.