Number of wildfires down this year in Saskatchewan

Wildfires are significantly down this year in Saskatchewan.

In a release on Friday, the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency stated the province has reported 125 wildfires, much lower than the five-year average of 405 wildfires.

Steve Roberts, acting vice president of the SPSA, said mild, wet weather in northern Saskatchewan has played a part, but so has reduced human activity due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Last year was also a low year, but these are some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen in the last ten years,” said Roberts during a media conference call.

The only significant fire in 2020 was the English Fire, which burned east of Prince Albert back in May. But for the most part, many of the province’s fires in 2020 were small in size and were contained by firefighters.

Roberts is warning the public to continue exercising caution to prevent wildfires from happening with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions during the fall hunting and harvest season.

He added fire season will soon be over for the year.

“Typically, the official end of fire season is in October. But we would see primarily our crews end in the second week of September when crews go offline, equipment is being put away, from a wildfire perspective.”

Roberts mentioned that the agency has had success with their management response strategy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether crews are fighting floods or wildfires, they have used multiple crews and have adjusted schedules so responders don’t overlap and potentially spread the virus to others thanks to isolation.

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