Saskatchewan

3 houses destroyed in Kannata Valley, Sask., fire

A grass fire swept Saskatchewan's Kannata Valley Monday night, destroying cottages in its way.

Fire crews from multiple neighbouring communities respond

The Lumsden Fire Department said three homes were burned to the ground on Monday night due to a fire through the Kannata Valley. (Submitted by Charmaine Hazzard)

A grass fire that stretched for eight kilometres swept the Kannata Valley Monday night, destroying cottages in its way.

Luke Lawrence owns property in the neighbourhood, about 35 kilometres northwest of Regina, and realized the fire was coming when he saw smoke barrelling through the area. He said the ground was "bone dry" when the fire started.
It turned from a grass fire to a bush fire probably within minutes.- Luke Lawrence

"You could just hear the roar of the flames smack, crackle and popping in behind our place," Lawrence said.

"It turned from a grass fire to a bush fire probably within minutes."
A brush fire in Saskatchewan's Kannata Valley has destroyed homes. 1:51

Lawrence said the fire carried through Lakeshore Drive, on the north side of the valley. He said he decided to leave the area, grabbing his dog on the way out.

"I did a quick video and a couple pictures because I didn't think the place would be standing the next morning," he said. "You could see from the top of the hill there were fires in different spots all along Kannata Valley.

"I think what happened is it followed the railway tracks like a wick and then burned down towards the cottages, working its way towards the lake."
The fire made its way down Lakeshore Drive, starting at about 4 p.m. (Submitted byCharmaine Hazzard)

The Lumsden Fire Department confirmed that three properties burned to the ground.

Lawrence said he considers himself lucky that he didn't lose his own home. He said he is also thankful there was no loss of life.

"People can rebuild," he said.

Fire crews from Silten, Craven, Earl Grey, Regina Beach, Lumsden and Strasbourg all responded to the scene with fire trucks.

Lawrence said he got word that the fire was contained at about 7 p.m. CST, but there were hot spots that had to be put out throughout the night.
A fire that stretched 8 kilometres swept through Kannata Valley Monday night. 0:19

Wildfire overview

According to Saskatchewan's Ministry of Environment, there are currently 10 active wildfires in the province, six that are contained, two that are being assessed and two that are not yet contained.

"The current wildfire activity is normal for spring in Saskatchewan. The 94 wildfires so far this year is ahead of the five-year average of 54 fires but it is not uncommon for May to be one of the busiest months for wildfires," a spokesperson for the ministry said in a statement. 

At this time, the ministry has not confirmed the causes of all 94 wildfires, but said most appear to be accidental.

According to the ministry, most early season wildfires are human-caused, usually by people who start fires but underestimate the burning conditions.

Common grassfire causes include recreational fires, landowners burning debris or grass or vehicle exhausts igniting dry vegetation.

With files from CBC's Morning Edition