By Justin Seward Local fire crews were called into action at 1 p.m. on Tuesday to tackle the wildfire that broke out northeast of Hilda and spread right into Burstall. RCMP shut down Highway 41 in both directions due to poor visibility caused by smoke and people were being warned to avoid the area. Cypress County deputy fire chief John McBain said the cause of the blaze was unknown at the time and nobody was hurt, while there was believed be several structures lost. What made matters worse for the fire fighters was the tornado-like winds. As of 8 p.m. Tuesday night, Hilda residents were ordered to be evacuated to the Schuler Hall where there was food and water provided. Everyone that was directed to Schuler were being sent to Medicine Hat. There were Burstall residents who stuck it out as the conditions seemed to have improved. "Right now it's still windy, but there's a bit of improvement with the smoke," said resident Vipul Patel. "I see some vehicles, they are coming back." Joseph Kwak, owner of the Burstall Hotel, said all his customers left after the evacuation was ordered, but he joked he would call them in the morning and tell them to come back. "It's over, I think so," he said. "The smoke is gone." -With files from Canadian Press
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