Saskatchewan

Evacuation orders lifted for all northern Sask. communities

Residents of Clam Lake Bridge and Hall Lake will be the last two headed back in a list of 43 evacuated communities.

Communities of Clam Lake Bridge and Hall Lake among the last evacuated communities to return home

Vehicles depart La Ronge, Sask. at the beginning of July, where wildfires have forced thousands to evacuate. (Government of Saskatchewan)

The general evacuation order for the last two communities under threat from forest fires has been lifted, and people can finally go home.

The people of Clam Lake Bridge and Hall Lake will be the last of 43 communities to return home. 

"Best news ever," wrote Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson in a Facebook post.

According to Saskatchewan's Wildfire Management, "there are no longer any communities under direct threat from wildfire." They do, however, urge those with health priorities to stay clear of the area until more smoke clears.

Wonderful news! Now everybody will be in their humble homes.- Van Charles-Young,  Facebook commenter

As of this morning, Emergency Social Services said 676 people are still receiving support: 282 evacuees from Prince Albert and 394 from Saskatoon.

Emergency Social Services expect these numbers to significantly drop now that people can return to Hall Lake and Clam Lake Bridge.

"We had a good rain storm come through last night and it really helped. We are making transportation arrangements now and will have everyone home today," Cook-Searson wrote in her post.

Many of those affected by the evacuations have expressed joy at the thought of returning home and responded to Cook-Searson's Facebook post.

"Wonderful news! Now everybody will be in their humble homes. Everything and everyone together again," wrote Van Charles-Young.

"Thank you so much. Can't wait to get back home," wrote Tanya Ross.

Dozens of others repeated the same sentiment. 

In their daily wildfire report, Wildfire Management noted that 88 wildfires are still burning in the province. Fourteen of those fires are uncontained. In the past 24 hours, ten fires have been cleared out while three new fires have been reported.

In total, there have been 652 fires to date this year. There were 235 fires in 2014.