Saskatchewan fire officials say there is no imminent threat to the communities of La Loche and the Clearwater River Dene Nation, but they continue to monitor the situation.

Officials are on the ground in the village and reserve helping community leaders prepare in case the situation changes.

“Both communities are very well-prepared and have contingency plans in place for different types of situations,” said Mieka Cleary, Deputy Commissioner of Planning with the Emergency Management and Fire Safety branch of Government Relations. “We are closely monitoring active threats and are ready to respond if required.”

Executive Director of Wildfire Management Steve Roberts says the “Kurt” fire began in the La Loche area on Monday because of a lightning strike.

He says it has grown to 585 hectares in size and currently sits 5 km northeast of La Loche on the other side of the lake.

“We have secured the section of the fire that could travel south towards La Loche, which has been our primary focus over the past couple days,” said Roberts. “Crews are there today securing that southern line to ensure there is no progression towards La Loche.”

Roberts believes wind will actually push the fire away from the community in the upcoming days.

Officials are meeting with community leaders twice a day to keep them updated on the situation.

The Ministries of Health and Social Services are also working with the communities to ensure an evacuation plan is in place in case of a drastic change in the situation.

“At this point in time, there is no belief that an evacuation will be required,” said Merv Pippe with the Ministry of Health.

Officials also say there are no imminent issues with air quality in the area as far as smoke is concerned.

Saskatchewan has experienced 287 fires to date this year.  Last year, the province had experienced 514 fires by the same date.