Saskatchewan

Soldiers at work fighting Saskatchewan forest fires

Canadian soldiers have suited up in orange and are now fighting fires in Saskatchewan forests.

Canadian Forces assisting ground crews near Montreal Lake

RAW: Army helicopter lands, soldiers on fire line

6 years ago
1:09
RAW: An Army helicopter lands, while soldiers put out hot spots on the fire line. 1:09

Canadian soldiers have suited up in orange and are now fighting fires in Saskatchewan forests.

More than 500 members of the 3rd Canadian Division will be patrolling fire lines, putting out hot spots and performing logistical chores such as moving hoses.

Another convoy rolled out of Prince Albert in light armoured vehicles and trucks Thursday morning, headed for the Montreal Lake area, about 100 kilometres to the north.

Members of the Canadian forces are now at work fighting fires in northern Saskatchewan. About 300 have been deployed to the Montreal Lake and La Ronge areas where wildfires have displaced thousands from their homes. (Ryan Pilon/CBC)

About 200 Canadian Forces members have already been deployed there. More are in the La Ronge area.

The soldiers, most of them with the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, have just gone through a crash course in firefighting and are assisting some 600 civilian firefighters who've been on the ground for weeks.

More than 110 forest fires are burning in Saskatchewan's north and 54 communities have been evacuated.

One of the worst is a fire close to La Ronge that covers an area of about 90,000 hectares. That's considerably bigger than the combined area of all 16 Saskatchewan cities.

Some 13,000 people have been forced out of their homes. Many remain in emergency shelters in Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert.

This was the view on Highway 969 near Montreal Lake on June 29. Soldiers are in the Montreal Lake area today. (Saskatchewan Highways)

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