Wall cancels northern Sask. fire tour due to smoke issues

Visibility problems force Premier to cancel a northern fire tour to assess the damage.

Visibility problems prevent all aircraft from flying Tuesday

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall speaks to media in Prince Albert, Sask., after cancelling an aerial tour of the province's raging wildfires due visibility issues with smoke on Jun. 30, 2015. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

What was supposed to be a day of assessment and surveying went up in smoke as Brad Wall was forced to cancel a north Saskatchewan aerial tour due to smoke visibility problems. 

Thick, smoky conditions remained, preventing the premier's as well as fire and rescue planes from flying all day Tuesday. 

"This is a province-wide issue, obviously the smoke has made it that, but in terms of the north we have a number of very serious fires in the centre north," Wall said. 

Smoke from more than 100 fires burning in Saskatchewan is impacting the air quality in eastern Alberta. (Kerry Lemaigre-Williment)

The day's original plan had the Premier traveling with government relations minister Jim Reiter, environment minister Herb Cox and Duane McKay, director of Emergency Management and Fire Safety.

The group was set to travel to La Ronge, to meet with local officials and emergency crews, including La Ronge mayor Mayor Thomas Sierzycki and Chief Tammy Cook-Searson of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

The aerial tour to survey the fire zone was scheduled thereafter, departing from the Northern Air Operations (NAO) at the La Ronge Airport.

Over 1,300 moved to other communities 1:45

As of Tuesday morning there were 115 wildfires burning in the province, 40 of them uncontained. Evacuees from northern communities are still being moved to shelters in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina. 

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