The province of Saskatchewan now has 13 active wild fires burning throughout the province.
Steve Roberts from the Ministry of Environment says a fire ban is still in place across much of the province.
“Provincially, we also have the fire ban for all areas south of the Churchill river system to the US border, that will continue,” Roberts says. “We do not have any current rain coming, or have received sufficient rain to change that status so that fire ban will remain in effect.”
There are three fires that are of main concern, the tuff, rally and rabbit fires. The rabbit fire is located primarily in Prince Albert National Park, and the tuff fire is near Meadow Lake, and the Rally fire is located in the Holbien and Crutwell area.
Emergency preparedness and fire safety Director of Operations Ray Unrau says while the rabbit fire is located in a federal area, the province is supplying equipment to put out the fire.
“As of today, our full compliment and personnel are ready and available to support communities should the require it and we will be providing equipment if requested to the rabbit fire area; that includes radio equipment, fire pumps, and a limited number of wildfire units,” Unrau says. “Also, we are prepared and we are engaged in providing emergency planning support services to communities as they organize for potential impacts of the rabbit fire.”
Marni Williams from provincial social services says there are people taking shelter in a hotel in Saskatoon.
“Currently, emergency social services is providing assistance to 35 health-priority evacuees from the community of Waterhen Lake First Nation,” Williams says. “These evacuees are being housed in one hotel in Saskatoon, and will continue to be housed until air quality conditions no longer pose a threat.”
There has been 181 fires in 2018 so far, with the five year average being 122.