Stanley Mission evacuees arrive in Saskatoon as fire contained
SASKATOON – Officials with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and province continue to monitor the forest fire situation in Stanley Mission in northern Saskatchewan as some evacuees arrived in Saskatoon Thursday night.
Around 240 high-risk residents were evacuated to La Ronge due to air quality concerns when two fires came dangerously close to local buildings.
A decision was made Thursday afternoon to move over 100 of the evacuees, mostly pregnant women and mothers with small children, to Saskatoon where they will stay at Henk Ruys Soccer Centre.
Duane McKay, Saskatchewan’s Commissioner of Emergency Management and Fire Safety, said the wildfires were battled both from air and ground.
He said the closest fire, called the Lagoon fire, has been knocked down and contained.
A second fire, just north of Pelican Narrows, has grown to five square kilometres.
McKay said smoke in the area has been a concern and a number of agencies have been involved in the evacuation effort.
“Provincial Red Cross is up there, rapid response teams from the province are there and we are coordinating with all of the provincial authorities to make sure that the band has all of the support that they require,” he said.
McKay added conditions are very dry across the north.
Val Nicholson, an official with the Prince Albert Fire Centre, says with the warm and dry weather the number of reported fires continues to grow.
“There are 12 fires burning in the province [Thursday], seven that aren’t contained, which is about the same as yesterday,” she says.
“We’ve had 115 fires to date this year but 62 have been in the last seven days so as the temperature comes up we can see that things do dry out and people really should be cautious.”
– With files from Global News
© The Canadian Press, 2014