The Lacombe Fire Department responded to 13 calls over the long weekend since Thursday, July 28th. Those calls included 2 structure fires, 8 motor vehicle collisions, one vehicle fire, and 2 other calls for service.  

 One of the major problem areas over the weekend was located on the QEII just outside of Lacombe where there was some ongoing construction. With traffic reduced to a single lane and the increase of drivers on the road there were several incidents in the area.  

“What was happening is there was a couple of construction zones on Hwy 2 southbound due to construction and then a previous incident that happened with the Highway 12 overpass that had the slow lane reduced to where the bridge is reduced to one lane and the speed is reduced as well to 80 kilometers. With the heavy traffic this weekend, traffic got backed up there and again. People were not really paying attention to what's going on and all of a sudden got caught up in a major slowdown on the highway,” said Dennis Cole, Lacombe Fire Department Chief. 

Although some people involved in the local incidents were taken to local area hospitals, Cole says there was no life threatening injuries involved with those collisions.  

As for fire calls, on Thursday crews responded to a house fire that caused moderate damage to the interior of a home. On Monday, crews responded to a call for an incident that took place at a local hotel where a guest had been cooking in one of the suites which resulted in only minor damage.  

Of all the calls received over the weekend, Cole stresses that motor vehicle collisions are often very preventable.  

“We try and stress to drivers not just to maintain situational awareness but be aware of what's happening and maintain the speed limits that are posted in the areas and just be aware of your surroundings and what's going on,” said Cole.  

He says motor vehicle collisions are very common on long weekends as more Albertans head out onto to the roads to enjoy a long weekend. Before heading out on a long weekend or drive, he recommends checking 5-1-1 and social media to get a grasp of where heavy traffic and construction is occurring.