“Our concern is really around the amount of smoke that is being produced and the envelope that it’s impacting. So, we do see some smoke issues in La Loche and Descharme Lake.”
Several government agencies are closely monitoring the fires in both Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Plans are in place should there be any evacuations, and caches of equipment have been established should they need to be rapidly deployed.
Kevin Murphy, acting Deputy Minister with the Ministry of Environment says there are a number of factors working to alleviate the fire’s risk to La Loche.
“Fire guards have been put in place. We have had significant fire activity in that area as recently as last year, which has significantly reduced the fuel-load in front of it, and we have the lake as a major guard.”
Murphy says they also have staff working to battle the fire in Fort McMurray, so it doesn’t move closer to the border.
“We have mobilized the ground firefighting teams in La Loche, at the fire base there, and have continued to deploy air assets from Buffalo Narrows onto the onto the eastern flank of the fire. We also have eight of our wildfire staff working directly with Alberta on the Fort McMurray fire.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, there were six active wildfires in Saskatchewan, two of which were contained and four that are under assessment.