Wildfire burning near Edson has been contained by crews

EDSON — An out-of-control wildfire near Edson has been contained after consuming 35 hectares of land and sending dark clouds of smoke into the town 150 km west of Edmonton.

EDSON — An out-of-control wildfire near Edson has been contained after consuming 35 hectares of land and sending dark clouds of smoke into the town 150 km west of Edmonton.

Geoffrey Driscoll, wildfire information officer for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, says with current weather conditions and crews on scene, the fire is not expected to grow.

Three homes that had been placed under evacuation notice are no longer being threatened.

Driscoll says there were no injuries or property damage in the blaze.

Fire crews were called to Highway 16 near Niton Junction just after 7 p.m. on Saturday night to battle a blaze that was said to have started on one side of the divided highway and jumped to the other side.

At 10:30 p.m., an air tanker was forced to make an emergency landing on the eastbound lanes of Highway 16 just outside of Edson, forcing the lanes to be closed until 2 a.m. Sunday.

The pilot and lone occupant of the plane was not hurt in the incident, and the aircraft company Conair is investigating along with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

Elsewhere in the province, crews continued to deal with wildfires and hotspots that have flared up over the weekend.

In Strathcona County, fire crews from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development continue to monitor hotspots from a severe wildfire that started in early May, said the county’s deputy fire Chief Vern Elliott.

There were three to four flare-ups Sunday, Elliott said, adding there are still more than 100 hotspots in the county, some which are not readily visible. About 283 hectares of land have been consumed in the blaze.

“Hopefully we get some rain in the next few days,” he said.

Meanwhile in Sturgeon County, where four homes were lost and 22 homes evacuated earlier this month due to raging wildfires, crews are still monitoring hotspots in the area.

“The fire is not totally out but it’s under control, and we have residents keeping their eyes and ears open,” said Trevor Mistal, deputy fire chief.

Crews also remained in Lamont County to monitor hotspots. The state of emergency for all three counties were lifted in mid-May and all residents who were forced to evacuate have returned home, say officials. The cause is still under investigation for all the fires.

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