May 15, 2018 1:08 pm

Saskatchewan issues fire ban heading into long weekend

Open fires banned on all Crown land, provincial parks and recreation site, and burn notification areas from the Churchill River south to the U.S. border.

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Dry conditions have forced the Saskatchewan government to issue an immediate fire ban for most of Saskatchewan heading into the Victoria Day long weekend.

Open fires and fireworks are banned on all Crown land, provincial parks and recreation site, and burn notification areas from the Churchill River south to the U.S. border.

The ban also covers Clearwater River and Lac La Ronge provincial parks. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is not included in the ban.

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READ MORE: Crutwell evacuation ended, wildfire still burning out of control

The ban does not include self-contained heating devices, pressurized stoves, gas barbecues, propane fire pits, or charcoal briquettes used in an approved firebox for heating or cooking.

The ban will remain in place until further notice.

A number of rural municipalities and communities have also issued fire bans – a complete list as of May 14 is at the end of this story.

Government officials said people should check with local authorities to see if there are burning restrictions in place that are not listed.

READ MORE: Grass fire destroys three homes in southern Saskatchewan

The current fire weather index for most of the province is high or extreme.

There were 15 wildfires burning in Saskatchewan on Tuesday morning, two which are still out of control including the Rally fire near Holbein.

So far in 2018 there have been 147 wildfires, above the five-year average of 86 for this time of year.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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