NEWS
10/27/2017 08:48 EDT | Updated 10/27/2017 09:00 EDT

Crews edging closer to containing out-of-control Alberta wildfire

NANTON, Alta. — If all goes well, officials hope to have a wildfire in southwestern Alberta totally contained by the end of today.

Alberta Agriculture and Forestry says the Chimney Rock Fire in the Municipal District of Ranchland, southwest of Calgary, was 80 per cent contained as of Thursday.

Lynn Daina, a department information officer, says officials hope crews can have the remaining 20 per cent in hand before Saturday.

The blaze, which is still listed as out of control, has now covered more than 15 square kilometres but no buildings have been damaged or destroyed.

Daina says an evacuation order remains in place, although residents have been allowed to go back in under permit to check on some 18 properties in the fire zone.

Several pieces of heavy machinery, backed up by helicopters equipped with water buckets, are working on the fire that erupted earlier this week and is still under investigation.

There were wind warnings in the area on Wednesday and gusts up to 100 km/h that helped spread the flames.

Highway 22 reopened to traffic Thursday after it was closed due to heavy smoke the previous day.