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Wildfire Situation Escalating in Northern Saskatchewan

Released on June 25, 2015

Travel Not Recommended in La Ronge Area; Fire Ban in Place for All of Northern Saskatchewan

Due to extreme wildfire hazards in northern Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Environment is recommending no non-essential travel to the La Ronge area including Air Ronge, Sucker River, Wadin Bay, Stanley Mission and Nemeiben.  The ministry is also recommending no non-essential travel north of La Ronge.  People already in these areas are encouraged to relocate to a safer community not threatened by the current wildfire situation.

There are several fires in the La Ronge region that may pose smoke and fire risks to the area and surrounding communities, and sudden changes in wind direction could potentially result in evacuation.

The ministry, in consultation with the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport, has issued a fire ban effective immediately on all open fires for all provincial forests, and for all provincial parks and recreation sites located within these forests.  The ban includes and applies to the Canwood, Fort à la Corne, Nisbet, Northern, Porcupine and Torch River provincial forests.  Parks, Culture and Sport is currently relocating campers in Nemeiben Lake and McKay Lake campgrounds to other campgrounds within Lac La Ronge Provincial Park.

People travelling or staying in remote areas are reminded to establish communications to ensure their safety while in the forest and be aware of surrounding conditions that may require relocation.

The area has been drying out significantly since the last rainfall, leading to potentially hazardous wildfire conditions.  Currently, there is increased risk from active wildfires and smoke conditions especially in the area of La Ronge, including Missinipe, Sucker River, Wadin Bay, Nemeiben Lake, Black Bear Island Lake, Besnard Lake, Hall Lake, Clam Lake and Egg Lake.  Active fires and fire hazards increase the potential for evacuations and effects on people with health conditions.

There are currently 31 wildfires burning in northern Saskatchewan.  Over the past 24 hours, 14 fires were declared out and 12 new fires have been reported.  So far this year, there have been 394 wildfires, compared to 175 at this time last year.  Lightning has been the primary ignition source for new fire starts this year.

About the Fire Ban:
  • This fire ban includes all provincial parks and recreation sites in the northern portion of the province, including Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Lac La Ronge, Meadow Lake, Makwa Lake and Narrow Hills Provincial Parks, and Bronson Forest and Chitek Lake Recreation Sites.
  • All burn notification permits issued to those planning to burn in or within 4.5 kilometres of provincial forest area are revoked due to the ban.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Self-contained heating devices, pressurized stoves or charcoal briquettes used in a ministry-approved firebox will be permitted for cooking and heating purposes for the duration of the ban.
  • Fire bans may also be in place in rural municipalities in the area, so please check with your local authorities.
  • A list of affected recreational sites and provincial parks is available online at www.saskparks.net/FireBan.
The fire ban will remain in place until conditions improve and the Ministry of Environment rescinds the order.

Visit www.saskatchewan.ca/fire for information about provincial wildfires, and report any wildfire activity to 1-800-667-9660.

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For more information, contact:

Darby Semeniuk
Environment
Regina
Phone: 306-787-0143
Email: darby.semeniuk@gov.sk.ca

Karen Webb
Parks, Culture and Sport
Regina
Phone: 306-787-7828

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