Wildfire burning near Prince Albert reaches the size of Saskatoon, official says

‘English Fire’ now as big as Saskatoon
WATCH: The 'English Fire' burning northeast of Prince Albert is now as large as Saskatoon.

The “English Fire,” a wildfire burning northeast of Prince Albert, is now the size of the city of Saskatoon.

According to a statement from a Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency spokesperson, the fire is more than 28,000 hectares in size — approximately the size of the biggest city in the province.

“Everywhere you look, for the first few miles, everything is burnt,” Lyle White, the Smeaton and District deputy fire chief, said on the phone from Smeaton.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan issues two wildfire advisories

“(Everything is) just singed and smoke … as far as fields and grass. And the smoke is horrendous.”

White said smoke can be seen more than 30 kilometres away from the flames.

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The wildfire began on May 8 and is located approximately 50 kilometres northeast of Prince Albert.

On May 14, the James Smith Cree Nation was forced to partially evacuate and on Sunday the provincial government issued advisories for the Torch River and Garden River municipalities, warning residents they must be prepared to do the same.

READ MORE: More than 100 people evacuated to Dauphin, Man., after fire

Chris Clemett, a Public Safety Agency spokesperson, said in a statement “unfavourable winds continue to create challenging conditions” and that an emergency management office is working with the SPSA to monitor conditions and keep residents informed.

White told Global News he’s worried the fire will continue to spread and start damaging farms.

Brittany Johanson, a Nipawin resident, said it was already too late for many farms.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan firefighters bracing for ‘well above average’ summer wildfire risk

“Everywhere we’ve driven the crops on the left are completely gone and the crops on the right are burning as we speak,” she said.

White said, in his opinion, “the lack of the government with their water bombers in this sector has really been a problem.”

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He said the fire would continue until it rains heavily in the area.