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Fast-moving grass fire threatens Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan

Pasqua First Nation Chief Todd Peigan said the fast moving fire started off-reserve on a farmer’s field. Cathie Johns-Wick / Supplied

A fast-moving grass fire threatened homes at the Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan on Thursday afternoon.

Chief Todd Peigan said the fire started off-reserve just after 1 p.m.

Read more: 2 girls charged with arson in playground fire at Regina school

“It was a farmer west of the reserve that was burning (stubble), and on a day like today — not good,” Peigan said.

“It was a fast-moving fire.”

Temperatures were in the low 20s and wind gusts were peaking near 80 km/h, according to Environment Canada.

“That wind was fierce yesterday and this thing just moved. It went very fast and it was quite, quite scary,” Peigan said.

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“It went right through the southern boundary of our First Nation, right to off-reserve, and it kept going.”

Neighbouring First Nations and the Fort Qu’Appelle Fire Department sent crews to battle the flames.

Read more: Cumberland House Cree Nation begins rebuilding band office lost in fire

Peigan said dry conditions and the strong winds made the fire difficult to fight.

“It looked like one of those forest fires you see on TV, when you see the forest fires and just how thick it was and how orange,” he said.

“It covered the whole First Nation because of the wind.”

One home was damaged and two vacant buildings were destroyed.

“One of the homes sustained some minor damage in the corner, the siding … burned,” he said. “Luckily, one of our fire crews were there with their water apparatuses and tanks. And so they managed to put that fire out.”

Crews spent the evening dealing with hot spots.

Pasqua First Nation is roughly 65 kilometres northeast of Regina.

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