Wildfires across the prairies are a major concern  especially in Alberta as fire crews work to try and get control of the situation

Thousands of people have been evacuated as a result of the fires along with pets and livestock.

The fires have also impacted rail movement on some of CN's rail lines.

Assistant Vice-President of Grain David Przednowek says at the end of Grain week 40 the fire situation resulted in the shutdown of the Edson subdivision west of Edmonton.

He says that the Edson subdivision is pretty much ground zero for rail traffic movement back and forth from the west coast to Canada. 

"All trains going to or coming from the ports of Vancouver and Prince Rupert have to go over the Edson. That meant that network fluidity was affected because we stopped train movements. That means that trains had to get halted all the way back far into the prairies, and of course at Port, because we couldn't advance them."

He notes they had safety crews out there spraying tracks with water after every train.

"It really did impact dozens of trains. We were able to resume rail operations on the Edson subdivision on Monday, May 8. We've got our water train out there, Poseidon that was spraying down the line every couple of hours. It's got some big water tanks, sprinklers, and water cannons on there. And we're also using high rail trucks equipped with firefighting capabilities as well along those lines. Here we are now in the middle of week 42. The fires have abated around the Edson subdivision, but as of Friday morning there are impacts on the CN Slave Lake subdivision in northern Alberta."

Przednowek says it's a very volatile situation and CN is monitoring it very closely and working with local emergency services to ensure the safety of their employees and the people in the local communities.

To hear Glenda-Lee's conversation with  David Przednowek click on the link below.