Alberta wildfire evacuees hoping weather will bring relief

About 200 central Alberta residents are hoping rainfall and calmer winds will help them soon return to their homes.

Central Alberta towns of Nordegg and Lodgepole remain evacuated

Firefighters work on the Lodgepole fire. (Government of Alberta)

About 200 central Alberta residents are hoping rainfall and calmer winds will help them return to their homes soon.

Two out-of-control wildfires forced the evacuation of Lodgepole and Nordegg on the weekend.

Rain fell in the area on Tuesday and winds died down significantly. Fire officials say they're making progress after fire guards held the wildfires overnight.

Residents of Lodgepole were told on Tuesday that if conditions continue to be good, a decision could be made on the evacuation order by 8 a.m. Wednesday.  

The Lodgepole fire remained at 1,260 hectares in size and is just over two kilometres west of the town. Officials confirmed that four outbuildings  — a quonset and sheds — burned on one property.

Fortis Alberta said there were some downed power lines and poles that will create power outages for residents who live near the river.

Two water bombers and 12 helicopters are helping the more than 120 firefighters on the front lines.

Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development is setting up a 250-person camp for crews fighting the fire.

In Nordegg, more than 100 firefighters are on the ground.

Incident commander Marc Gamache says the rain helped improve morale among the firefighters.

"We didn't get a lot of [precipitation] on the fire," he said. "We just got enough just to kind of buy us a bit of time, relax the fire a little bit, but it’s still quite hot, still quite active."

However, Gamache said that the weather can change quickly so crews have to watch the situation.

He still doesn't know when Nordegg residents can return to their homes.