The Northern Saskatchewan Trappers Association is talking about the impact of recent wildfires on some of their members.

Duane Iron, who represents trappers in the northwest on behalf of the association told MBC Radio News, that the fires have destroyed property and also had an impact on wildlife in many areas.

“Fires have destroyed their cabins and the wildlife has moved away,” he said.

Iron was not able to provide a specific number in terms of how many trappers have been impacted. He said it can take quite a long time for areas which have been burnt to fully recover and return to what it once was.

“Regeneration does take a long time, I talked to some Elders already about regeneration, regrowth, it takes about 40 years, 40, 50 years,” he said.

With the environment taking such a long time to fully recover, Iron said it will take time for the wildlife which had previously lived in the area to come back. He added the fires in the northwest drove many animals away from the area.

“They ran to where it’s safe, specifically to the south, I guess or muskegs,” he said.

Iron said building a trap line is a process which can be quite labour intensive, especially for people who are doing it alone. Iron explained people who have lost their cabins will also have to look at rebuilding. He added there will not be as many areas available for people to trap in as well.

“Yes there will be a lack of areas to trap, but I don’t see why we (should) quit and let this hold us down,” he said.

Like others in the north, Iron believes the provincial government’s current policies on how wildfires are dealt with are not aggressive enough. He said this had a real negative impact on many people.

“It causes a lot of issues, where communities were at stake, lives were at stake, fires came close to communities,” he said.