Wildfire threat contained in western Saskatchewan
A wildfire that forced the evacuation of three Saskatchewan communities is under control.
Evacuations were ordered Tuesday for Burstall, the RM of Deerforks and Leader due to the wildfire threat.
Government officials said the wildfire has been contained and there is no further danger to the communities.
The fire was stopped approximately 20 kilometres from Leader.
No structures in Burstall or Leader were damaged however one rural residence near Burstall was affected.
WATCH: SaskEnergy crews shot this video in Burstall, Sask., on Oct. 17, 2017 where smoke from a nearby wildfire can be seen.
The evacuation order for all the communities was lifted Wednesday morning and residents are now being allowed to return home.
“All I could see is smoke in front of me and it was just scary,’” said Arlene Morrow, who evacuated Burstall on Tuesday afternoon and stayed overnight at the Kindersley Inn.
A local church in Kindersley served a free breakfast for wildfire evacuees before they travelled home on Wednesday.
“It’s wonderful living out in this kind of community. Everyone pulls together, everyone helps everyone,” Morrow said at the breakfast before travelling home.
Schools in the Leader and Burstall areas said classes would be cancelled on Wednesday.
Roughly 500 residents from Burstall were evacuated Tuesday afternoon due to the wildfire threat, with the majority headed to Fox Valley and some being moved to Kindersley.
Later in the day over 800 people in Leader were ordered evacuated to Kindersley and 27 patients were moved to Swift Current by the Cypress Health Region.
Kindersley’s chief administrative officer, Bernie Morton, said more than 200 people stayed overnight, but the town was prepared for around 800.
“Eldest was 93, the youngest was two. We had some cats, and some dogs, and a trailer full of horses, so people grabbed what they could and they came to Kindersley,” Morton said.
Evacuees were housed in both hotels and billets.
“For those who could afford to pay their own way they did, and for those who have not, the Town of Kindersley, through our Emergency Measure Funding Program, that we have locally here, we covered those costs for them,” Morton explained.
WATCH BELOW: Kindersley not passing hotel bills and other costs on to wildfire evacuees
Leader town officials said on Facebook that the evacuation order would stand until at least the morning.
“Still very windy,” said the post. “No power. Please get a good night’s rest. Threat to town is less but could change at a moment’s notice with this type of wind.”
Some people who stayed behind in Burstall said the situation seemed to improve as the night went on.
“Right now it’s still windy, but there’s a bit of improvement with the smoke,” said resident Vipul Patel. “I see some vehicles, they are coming back.”
The province said it is ready to provide additional resources if required.
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