The wetter and cooler conditions are changing conditions in Saskatchewan.
Steve Roberts, vice president of operations for the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) said with the long term forecast appearing more favorable they are able relax certain restrictions.
“That has prompted us to revoke the provincial fire ban,” he said.
The provincial fire ban applied to provincial parks and crown land. Roberts added local governments may still have their own bans in place due to conditions in their areas. In a post on Facebook, Northern Village of Air Ronge Mayor Julie Baschuk reminded residents the fire ban in the Tri Communities remains in effect.
Roberts said there are currently 161 active wildfires burning in Saskatchewan. He explained 11 of these fires are considered to be a threat to communities or infrastructure. Two of these fires concern Lac La Ronge Indian Band (LLRIB) communities.
“The links fire is currently a threat in the area of Stanley Mission, which has been evacuated; we also have a fire, G&B 01 by Grandmother’s Bay, those are the ones that are primarily direct community threats,” said Roberts.
Roberts added the Locke Fire is also threatening the communities of Dillon and Michelle Village.
While the rain has changed conditions in the province overall, Roberts said the weather systems which brought the moisture also brought other weather which was not helpful in the overall battle against wildfires.
“It did bring more precipitation than we had anticipated, but it also brought lighting with it in a large quantity, that as you see our fire numbers are actually up, but the fire behavior has been diminished,” he said.
Firefighters have recently been able to contain two fires. The White Fire which was threatening the community of Whelan Bay is now contained along with the Fork Fire which was threatening Beauval.
“These fires got some heavy equipment and crews on them, they were not obviously our largest fires but they were critical because of the values threatened,” said Roberts.
The SPSA is not aware of any evacuees returning home. Roberts said decisions about when people will be allowed to return will be made by local leadership.
(Photo Courtesy of La Ronge Regional Fire Department Facebook)