May 22, 2014 12:16 pm

State of emergency in Stanley Mission as fire threatens settlement

Ground crews and air tankers fight a massive bush fire near Arborfield, Sask. on May 21, 2014. A northern Saskatchewan community is under a state of emergency as a forest fire threatens Stanley Mission.

RCMP Sgt. Craig Cleary / Supplied

STANLEY MISSION, Sask. – A state of emergency has been declared in one of two northern Saskatchewan communities being threatened by forest fires.

The declaration for Stanley Mission came Wednesday when flames from two fires crept close to the settlement and forced the early dismissal of the local school as a precaution.

Gordon Hardlotte, director of operations for Stanley Mission, says about 100 people have been moved to La Ronge because of concerns about the effects of smoke on the health of seniors and children.

The provincial government has sent in air tankers and ground crews to attack the fires.

The second fire, just north of Pelican Narrows, forced officials to close Highway 135 on Wednesday.

The blaze covers about half a square kilometre and is believed to have been caused by people.

There are currently 13 wildfires in Saskatchewan; six are not contained.

There have been 106 wildfires in Saskatchewan so far in 2014, one less than at the same time last year.

- With files from Global News

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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