May 27, 2014 4:02 pm

Stanley Mission forest fire evacuees start returning home

Hundreds of people begin the trip home to Stanley Mission as forest fire no longer posing threat to the northern Saskatchewan community.

Yollanda Roberts / Viewer Supplied

STANLEY MISSION, Sask. – Hundreds of people evacuated from a northern Saskatchewan community are on their way home.

Over 900 people from Stanley Mission were evacuated over the weekend after a forest fire threatened to cut off the only access road to the area.

Others had been evacuated last week over air quality concerns due to smoke.

Evacuees were housed in La Ronge and Saskatoon.

Cooler weather, rain and the efforts of firefighters are allowing them to return home.

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Those with their own vehicles started making their way back home Monday night. About 250 people are being bused back on Tuesday while those who have high-risk health concerns will return home on Wednesday.

The fire is still burning but is no longer threatening the community of the lone access road.

Crews continue to battle the blaze utilizing ground crews, tankers and helicopters.

According to the Ministry of Environment, there are currently six wildfires burning in Saskatchewan. Three of those have not been contained while one is currently being assessed.

There have been 136 forest fires in the province so far this year, two less than at the same time last year.

With files from David Giles and The Canadian Press

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