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Lightning strike cause of Cloverdale wildfire near Prince Albert, Sask.

Investigators have determined that a lightning strike within the Prince Albert, Sask., city boundary on May 17, 2021, sparked the Cloverdale wildfire. Slavo Kutas / Global News

A wildfire that forced the evacuation of dozen of homes in and around Prince Albert, Sask., was caused by a lightning strike.

Investigators from the Ministry of Environment, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency and the City of Prince Albert determined a lightning strike within the city’s boundary on May 17 sparked the Cloverdale wildfire.

The size of the fire was estimated at 5,583 hectares by the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency and was deemed contained on the morning of May 20.

Read more: SPSA says cold temperatures, reduced wind helping crews extinguish fires in northern Sask.

The SPSA said the wildfire was fuelled by the dry spring conditions and a high wind event.

Firefighters were aided in containing the wildfire by cooler conditions and moisture later in the week.

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No major structures were lost in the fire, but the SPSA said an office trailer was damaged by the wildfire on the first day.

The wildfire knocked out power to roughly 9,000 SaskPower customers as far north as La Ronge. Power was restored to all customers on May 20, SaskPower said.

Read more: Cloverdale wildfire north of Prince Albert, Sask. contained

At least 75 households had to evacuate due to the fast-moving wildfire and residents were allowed to return home on the evening of May 20.

Public safety personnel and fire crews are continuing fire suppression efforts in the area.

There have been 125 wildfires to date in Saskatchewan, four of which are currently active.

Three of those wildfires have been contained with crews taking suppression action.

The fourth is being monitored to access risk to values in the area, according to the province’s daily wildfire situation map.

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