Smoke Forces Sick Out Of La Ronge And Hall Lake

Friday, July 07, 2006 at 15:57



The number of evacuated residents in northern Saskatchewan due to forest fires has risen.


It now stands at 2,200 evacuees.


A total of 71 residents of Hall Lake with health conditions have been relocated in the last 24 hours because of heavy smoke.


Another 12 people from La Ronge in the same situation have also been sent elsewhere.


However, La Ronge is not under an evacuation alert or on evacuation standby, as some outlets have been reporting.


At last word, the closest fire to the town — the English fire — was still situated between five and six kilometres north of the La Ronge airport.


Meanwhile, Saskatchewan Environment spokesman Daryl Jessop now says about 10 remote buildings in the affected area north of La Ronge have been destroyed by fire.


He says they were either cottages or trappers’ cabins — so far, no damage has been done to outfitter camps.


Showers today, tonight and tomorrow morning in the La Ronge region are expected to help the situation north of town.


Saskatchewan Environment spokesperson Val Nicholson says the rain will help, but the long-term forecast is not promising with hot, dry weather predicted after the weekend.


Gusting winds of up to 35 km/h are also forecast for the area north of La Ronge today — a situation that Jessop says could be cause for concern.


There is also a risk of more thunderstorms in the region, which could spark even more fires.


Over 120 fires are burning in the province.