Wildfire in southern Alberta prompts emergency alert, overnight evacuations

A wildfire burning along Highway 22 in southern Alberta prompted an emergency alert just after midnight Wednesday advising people who live in the area to evacuate to the nearby town of Nanton.

However, an update to the Alberta Emergency Alert just before 6 a.m. said while the fire was still considered out of control, residents in the area were no longer at immediate risk and evacuees were safe to return home.

“Residents in the area between Highway 533 and Chimney Rock Road are on standby to be evacuated again should winds shift. Be prepared to evacuate on short notice,” the alert states.

The fire is burning on the west side of Highway 22 about two kilometres south of Highway 533. The flames are headed in an easterly direction, driven by strong winds from the west.

According to Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s wildfire status website, the fire has covered a 100-hectare area.

The wildfire burning on the west side of Highway 22 and approximately two kilometers south of Highway 533 is classed as out of control, according to the province. (Alberta Emergency Alert)

Much of southern Alberta is currently under an Environment Canada wind warning with gusts approaching 140 km/h along the foothills.

Highway 22 is closed in both directions from Highway 3 to Highway 533 north of Lundbreck because of the strong winds.

Multiple rollovers have been reported in the area, the province says.

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