Around 300 people evacuated from northern Saskatchewan due to wildfire smoke

A wildfire burns in Saskatchewan. File / Global News

About 300 high-risk people from Fond du Lac Denesuline First Nation in the northern part of Saskatchewan have been evacuated due to the health risks stemming from wildfire smoke.

Chief Kevin Mercredi said they are making people’s health and safety a top priority.

“We acted quickly with the help of our health partners to move the most at-risk people in our community to safety,” Mercredi said.

Click to play video: 'Dealing with wildfire smoke: Lung Saskatchewan'
Dealing with wildfire smoke: Lung Saskatchewan

The Fond du Lac Emergency Operations Centre was set up on July 26 with groups like the Athabasca Health Authority, the Northern Inter-Tribal Health Authority, Prince Albert Grand Council, Saskatchewan First Nations Emergency Management, the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, the Canadian Red Cross and Indigenous Services Canada working together.

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The First Nation said the evacuation is focusing on people with compromised cardio-respiratory conditions and people with other health conditions that are assessed by local health experts.

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It said the Canadian Red Cross is providing hotel accommodations and other services in Saskatoon for those who are affected.

Click to play video: 'Take precautions to help prevent wildfires: SPSA'
Take precautions to help prevent wildfires: SPSA

“Working together with partners in our region is key to giving the help that’s needed — we’re grateful for everyone’s help, and we’ll keep watching what’s happening and do what needs to be done,” Mercredi said.

“Once it’s safe, we will start the process of bringing everyone back home. Our people’s safety will always be our main concern, and we will make sure everything is safe before we begin this process.”

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