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Wildfire prompts emergency alert, evacuations in southern Alberta

Wednesday, December 1st 2021, 9:18 am - Residents that evacuated overnight were later allowed to return home, but remain on standby in case they have to evacuate again

DEC. 1, 2021: Wildfire burning on the west side of Highway 22 approximately two kilometres south of Highway 533 in southern Alberta. Reception centre for evacuees has been set up at the Nanton Community Hall located at 2204-18 Street.

A wildfire burning along Highway 22 in southern Alberta prompted an emergency alert just after midnight 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 is still considered out of control, residents in the area are no longer at immediate risk and evacuees are safe to return home.

WATCH BELOW: STRONG WINDS COULD STOKE THE WILDFIRE

By early afternoon the fire was listed by Alberta Agriculture and Forestry as being held and reduced in area from about 100 hectares to 37.

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.

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.

To learn how you can prepare for a wildfire, visit alberta.ca/Wildfires and alberta.ca/BePrepared.

This article was originally published for CBC News.

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