Lindale residents preparing for 2nd night away from home

Wildfires in Brazeau and Strathcona counties are holding, but many residents in Lindale will likely not be permitted to return home today.

Brazaeau County fire remains out of control

More than 150 people are preparing to spend their second night away from their homes as firefighters continue to battle a brush fire near Lindale, southwest of Edmonton.

Of the 200 evacuated from their homes on Wednesday, about 50 have now been allowed to return home, although perhaps not for long.

They join over 200 others who have been told to remain on a one-hour evacuation notice.

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, the 36 hectare fire is defined as "being held," but is not under control.

Ground crews are now building fire guards while getting help from two water bombers and a helicopter.

"It was kind of being held overnight." said Wes Tweedle, reeve of Brazeau County. "The wind had died down some and the wind is coming up again today so it could take off again."

So far, no homes have been lost in Lindale, although one barn may have burned down.

Resident Cliff Beckett recalls first seeing the brush fire, which sparked not far from his office.

Although he first tried to fight the fire himself, he was quickly overwhelmed.

"It started crowning on us, so I knew to get out there," Beckett said. "By then, it was heading north over to the neighbours’ place."

Beckett immediately called his wife Linda and told her to pack up and leave the house.

"It was like a freight train going through the bush," she said. "With the wind and everything, it was horrible. It just scared me to death."

Strathcona County fire

Meanwhile, a wildfire in Strathcona County is now considered "held".

Although the grass fire is still not considered to be under control, fire crews are getting the upper hand, says Carmen Herbers, who's with the county.

"The affected area's completely surrounded by plowed fire guard. It's maintained in one area. Today they'll be working to actually go from held to putting the fire out."

A crew of twelve firefighters and officers have remained on site and are working from brush trucks and portable water tanks to deal with hotspots.

The high winds have made fighting the fire very difficult, Herbers said.

The grass fire, in the north end of Strathcona County, started Tuesday afternoon affecting 260 hectares of bush and grassland.

In a news release Thursday afternoon, Emergency Services says no residents are currently at risk.

It is anticipated that crews will remain on hand through Friday.