Saskatchewan is recalling firefighting crews two weeks earlier and hiring eight new crews as it prepares for what could be an early start to the wildfire season.
Environment Minister Herb Cox says seasonal staff will start in the Prince Albert fire centre area April 4, with workers in more northern areas on the job by mid-April.
The measures are part of a response to a historic wildfire season last year that, at its peak, saw more than 100 fires burning daily in the north and prompted evacuations.
Cox says the province is also eliminating a 20-kilometre zone around communities facing the risk of a forest fire.
Some mayors complained that the policy let fires get too close to northern communities before there was an adequate response.
Cox says that was a misperception and fires will continue to be assessed on their threat to communities, regardless of the distance.