La Ronge, Sask. may not escape 'unscathed': firefighter

A massive forest fire continues to surround a key northern Saskatchewan town — La Ronge — and that has a firefighter worried that it could spread within.

Northern town has giant forest fires on its doorstep

Wildfires burn near La Longe, Sask., earlier this week. (CBC)

A massive forest fire continues to surround a key northern Saskatchewan town — La Ronge — and that has a firefighter worried that it could spread within.

About 380 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, La Ronge is the biggest town in northern Saskatchewan, with a population of about 2,700. Most residents have been evacuated to emergency shelters hundreds of kilometres away.

Two large fires were within a few kilometres of the town and have now joined up. Crews have been able to keep the town itself from burning, but that may not last, a fire official says.

Lloyd Zwack, a captain with the Prince Albert fire department who's in La Ronge this week, said hot and dry conditions are not helping.

"We need a lot of rain to help with the effort," he said. "I would be tremendously surprised if La Ronge gets out of this unscathed."

Zwack hopes that he and the other fire fighters in town can can prevent a major fire within the city.

"But again, we are going to need a lot of luck and that's going to be mother nature helping us," he said.

There were 119 wildfires burning in Saskatchewan on Friday, one more than the day before. 

Officials say that some fires might still be burning into the fall, perhaps until the snow flies.


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