Saskatchewan lifts provincial fire ban following cooler, rainy weather

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency lifts the provincial fire ban after much needed rain and cooler temperatures in the Prairies. Courtesy of Iver Swiftwolfe, Moosomin FN by Band Councilor

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) has lifted the fire ban across the province after much-needed rain in the Prairies.

The fire ban lift was announced eight days after it was put in place on May 16 for all Crown lands, provincial parks, and the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District north of Highway 16.

Despite rescinding the ban, the SPSA said it will continue to monitor the wildfires in the northern region.

“The higher humidities and the little bit of precipitation they get along with the fact this system brought in some cold temps means the fire behaviour is much reduced. It does allow both equipment crews and aircraft to get into the fire farther,” said Steve Roberts, SPSA vice president.

Click to play video: 'Public safety issues fire ban for Saskatchewan provincial parks, Crown lands'
Public safety issues fire ban for Saskatchewan provincial parks, Crown lands

According to a statement, some municipalities and provincial parks continue to experience a high fire risk, as the area north of Churchill did not get widespread heavy rains. SPSA stated that it will be up to each municipality to rescind or modify a fire ban that has been issued at a local level.

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The SPSA continues to encourage all municipalities to examine the fire risk in their local area and reminds the public to practice fire safety.

”There are 24 active wildfires … 13 that are undergoing assessment, three that are classified as contained, three that are classified as protecting property and five not contained,” said Marlo Pritchard, president of the SPSA. “Special air quality statements remain in effect through parts of northern and central Saskatchewan.”

Twenty evacuees from Île-à-la-Crosse leave on Wednesday to go back home after their mandatory evacuation was lifted. There are 61 evacuees who remain in Regina, waiting for the green light to return to their homes. The SPSA said it is not known at this time when that will be.

“Community leaders with consultation with health care (professionals) make decisions with the information that is available to them. When they lift the evacuation orders we are notified and then we make arrangements for the other evacuees to (head) home,” said Joan Hrycyk, SPSA Emergency and Community Support Direct.

SPSA has deployed air scrubbers, that work as a large conditioner, to numerous communities affected by the wildfires.

The SPSA encourages anyone who spots a wildfire to call 1-800-667-9660, dial 9-1-1 or contact their closest SPSA Protection Area office.


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