‘Not a lot left’: Ranch ravaged by southern Alberta wildfire
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WATERTON, Alta. — Members of a southern Alberta ranching family are leaning on each other for support after a wildfire swept through the property just outside Waterton Lakes National Park.
Sierra Garner, 20, was awoken Monday night when she got a phone call saying her grandparents had been ordered to leave their home on the Rocking Heart Ranch. She was told everyone was safe, but that there had been a fire.
On Tuesday morning, she drove from her home in Lethbridge to take stock of the damage.
“There was not a lot left,” she said Wednesday.
Garner’s grandpa and nana, Jim and Angel, would regularly get help from their three children and seven grandchildren on the ranch. Garner says she would go every weekend.
When she drove onto the property, she would see a beautiful red log house. Now it’s gone, along with the feed yard, arena and barn.
The only thing left standing was a shop housing farm equipment and supplies that happened to be surrounded by gravel. Treasured family keepsakes inside the house were destroyed.
“We have this old cowboy hat that was my great-great grandpa’s. That’s burned down,” she said. “Everything that they own and our stuff as well was in there, everything.”
Garner said her family is grateful everyone got out safely and none of the 100 or so horses on the ranch was hurt.
“Materials can be replaced. We’ll get a new house, we’ll get a new barn, arena,” she said. “We’ll rebuild everything. But if we would have lost any lives, that would have been a different story, and thank gosh we didn’t.” Friday, Sept. 15th 2pm - 7pm Saturday, Sept. 16th 10am - 5pm Sunday, Sept. 17th 11am - 4pm