Saskatchewan

RM says fire at Prince Albert National Park started through controlled burn

The biggest fire currently burning in Saskatchewan was the result of a controlled burn, according to an employee of a nearby RM.

181 fires in Saskatchewan in 2018, above 5 year average of 122

A firefighter battles the flames of the Rabbit Creek Fire at Prince Albert National Park, which is now 24,000 hectares in size. (Parks Canada)

The biggest fire currently burning in Saskatchewan was the result of a controlled burn, according to the administrator of a neighbouring rural municipality. 

The Rabbit Creek fire, burning in the Prince Albert National Park, is one of 14 fires burning throughout the province of Saskatchewan, according to the province's latest wildfire update. 

Tammy Knuttila, the administrator for the district of Lakeland, said the wildfire is the result of a controlled burn.

"The fire has been burning for two weeks now," she said, noting that Parks Canada staff light controlled burns to rejuvenate the forest and to create fire breaks. 

"The controlled burn was May 3. The winds picked up on May 6."

Knuttila said she has been in touch with the Ministry of Government Relations, to make emergency plans should the fire start moving eastward, toward Emma, Christopher or Anglin Lake. 

Parks Canada has not responded to requests for comment regarding the controlled burn.

Province working to contain fires

The Rally fire, which had prompted Crutwell to evacuate multiple times, is considered contained and is burning more than 2,500 hectares of land at the moment. 

The Tuff fire, which is burning within the Meadow Lake provincial park, is burning a bit bigger, as it has engulfed more than 6,500 hectares and has not yet been contained.  
The Tuff fire is now more than 6,500 hectares in size. (Twitter/Steve Martell)
The Tuff blaze burned 13 cottages in the Flotten Lake area over the weekend, as well as other outbuildings.

Both fires are still being investigated and the causes are not yet known. 

Marni Williams, the director of service delivery within the ministry of social services, said there are 35 people from the Waterhen Lake First Nation staying in a Saskatoon hotel.

They'll remain there until the air on the reserve clears up. 

A fire ban on Crown land from the Churchill River to the U.S. border remains in effect. 

There have been 181 fires in the province so far this year, well above the five year average of 122.

Of the fires currently burning, six are serious, and not under control. The remaining eight are not threatening homes or property and fire crews consider them under control.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said Holbein had been evacuated multiple times due to the Rally fire. Crutwell was evacuated, not Holbein.
    May 23, 2018 8:07 AM CT

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