English wildfire continues to rage in province's northeast

The English Fire at Fort-A-La-Corne continues to rage on, although there are hopes that the weather might co-operate later in the week.

The fire has been increasing in size in recent days. Steve Roberts, acting vice-president of Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, told a conference call of reporters that as of Wednesday morning the fire was mapped on 40,000 hectares, an increase of about 10 percent from yesterday.

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Roberts did acknowledge they were looking at a weather system coming in over the next 36 hours that will mean cooler temperatures and precipitation, and that will help the ground crews in dealing with the fire.

The fire has been burning since May 8. A large number of resources have been deployed including an incident command team. 29 public safety agency staff and another six five-person Type 2 community First Nation crews have been deployed. 12 bulldozers and nine trucks and engines are also working the fire and water-scooping aircraft and retardant aircraft are available at Prince Albert if needed.

Their emergency officers have made contact with area residents and given them information on alerts and orders as required. To this point no permanent residents have been evacuated from impacted RMs.

Smoke from the fire has made its way southwest going as far south as Saskatoon. As evening approached the wind shifted the smoke towards Prince Albert. Later tonight the smoke will be moving northward.

Both the RM of Torch River and Garden River have issued alerts to local residents about fire and smoke. James Smith Cree Nation had a smoke advisory and had looked at evacuating senior elders, but instead are keeping them in the community where air scrubbers for fresh air management has been provided. If evacuations are needed the ministry of Social Services will provide that support as required.     


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