Wildfire losing strength

Wildfire threatening the hamlet of Nordegg has lost some of its strength. Located 1.5 km from Nordegg and still classified as out of control, the fire has not grown since Monday and remains at about 741 acres. “Things are turning around for sure. We’re experiencing lower temperatures and much greater relative humidity today. Mother nature is being more co-operative,” said Barry Shellian, fire information officer with Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area, said on Tuesday.

Wildfire threatening the hamlet of Nordegg has lost some of its strength.

Located 1.5 km from Nordegg and still classified as out of control, the fire has not grown since Monday and remains at about 741 acres.

“Things are turning around for sure. We’re experiencing lower temperatures and much greater relative humidity today. Mother nature is being more co-operative,” said Barry Shellian, fire information officer with Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area, said on Tuesday.

He said the weaker fire meant there was also less smoke. More bulldozing was done on Monday night to strengthen the fuel-free fire guard.

“We just want to make them straight so there are no places where the fire can jump. It’s just reinforcing all the good work we’ve done.”

Fire retardant was also being delivered by helicopters rather than just planes.

More than 100 firefighters, various heavy equipment, air tankers and six helicopters were working to extinguish the wildfire.

On Sunday, about 100 Nordegg area residents were evacuated to a curling rink in Rocky Mountain House. They had been on a one-hour evacuation alert since Thursday.

There are no reports of structural damage within the hamlet, where sprinklers and water hoses have been deployed to protect structures, including the historic coal mining site.

On Tuesday, the wildfire hazard for Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area was reduced to high from extreme.

Environment Canada’s long-term weather forecast for the area calls for a 30 per cent chance of rain on Thursday and 60 per cent on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Elsewhere in the Rocky Mountain House Wildfire Management Area, the out-of-control 3,112-acre wildfire near the hamlet of Lodgepole also remained the same size.

The fire is still 1.5 km away from Lodgepole. Residents were also evacuated on Sunday.

As of Tuesday morning, Alberta had seven new fires reported in the previous 24 hours.

In the province, 209 out of 231 fires have been extinguished this season. Only the Nordegg and Lodgepole fires were out of control.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

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