An evacuation order for the Waterhen Lake First Nation is still in effect.
It was issued Tuesday afternoon due to access concerns for that community because there’s only a single road in and out. A 2,600 hectare wildfire continues to burn, with that blaze not being contained.
Waterhen Chief Joanne Roy says hundreds of people were transported by bus and private vehicles.
“On reserve, we have 857 people and just shy of 800 people that have evacuated,” she said. “The remaining people that remain at the community level are the front-line workers.”
Roy says people with chronic health issues and the elderly were taken to Meadow Lake.
Beverly Smith with the Social Services ministry says many of the evacuees have been relocated to Saskatoon, while others are in Meadow Lake.
“We have 122 individuals who have been registered by the Canadian Red Cross in Saskatoon, as well as a number staying with family and friends in Saskatoon,” Smith said. “We also continue to support 54 people that were evacuated on Monday from the community due to health concerns. They are continuing to be accommodated in hotels in Meadow Lake.”
Fire officials say weather is favourable for the Tuff fire near the Waterhen Lake First Nation today, as the smoke is blowing away from the community.
The fire was originally reported on the weekend and was started when a power pole was blown down by strong winds.
Meanwhile, the evacuation order has been lifted for the Hamlet of Crutwell.
Premier Scott Moe was also in Prince Albert later in the day to address the province’s response to the current wildfire situation.
The premier says officials are hopeful lower winds and higher humidity lessens the threat of fires across the province.
Nevertheless, Moe says the government has committed the resources and will do what it takes to fight wildfires wherever and whenever they occur this spring.
“The budgeted amount is not the expense amount, the expense amount is what it costs us to ensure the protection of the people and buildings and homes and communities here in the Province of Saskatchewan,” he says.
The premier was joined by Saskatchewan Rivers MLA Nadine Wilson and other environment officials at the Provincial Wildfire Centre.
(PHOTO: Fire map. Photo courtesy of Government of Saskatchewan.)