Ranch rav­aged by wild­fire

Packet & Times (Orillia) - - ONTARIO NEWS - LAUREN KRUGEL

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.

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