BEISEKER, Alta. - Officials with Rockyview County in southern Alberta say they are rescinding a $25,000 bill that was sent to a family which lost part of its Beiseker historical farm to a fire sparked by a bolt of lightning.

Reeve Rolly Ashdown now says the bill was sent in error.

Ashdown says the Hixt family should not have to pay the costs of firefighting services because the fire was started by natural forces, and crews were delayed in getting to the scene.

The Hixt family had said they were shocked to get the bill after the fire destroyed five buildings and many family heirlooms at their Grand Ole West Villa Ranche east of Beiseker.

They said they weren't able to get insurance on those buildings because they were too old.

Rockyview County last year passed a bylaw to recoup some of the costs of fire services provided to its residents.

Ashdown says the county doesn't want to make emergency services something that people will hesitant to use, but he does say the county needs to recover expenses when it can because property taxes don't cover it off.

He advises county residents to check and top up their insurance coverage.

(CHQR)

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