Fire destroys houses on Standing Buffalo First Nation
5 houses flattened, 1 was someone's home: firefighter
Hot flames razed five houses on the Standing Buffalo First Nation after a grass fire moved across the land on Sunday.
"There was the one house that someone did live in that one burned to the ground," said James Taylor, who has been a volunteer fire fighter with the Fort Qu'Appelle Fire Department for about eight years.
The other four houses that were destroyed were unoccupied older structures, he said.
"There's lots of fuel there and lots of tall grass right up to these older houses that no one lives in, so once it got going it was easy."
Taylor headed to the scene from Cupar and could see thick clouds of smoke billowing up through the valley. He said the fire was massive when he arrived.
THe fire was reported around 2 p.m. CST Sunday. The Lipton Fire Department was already on site when Taylor arrived because the Fort Qu'Appelle Department had been in the process of responding to another call.
Locals, area farmers and other volunteers worked alongside officials to help bring the fire under control.
"There was probably a stretch for about three miles that was burning there and it was looking to keep going farther yet," Taylor said.
He said farmers used their equipment to build firebreaks.
"They were a pretty huge help for us."
The grass fire season is likely to persist for at least another two to three weeks, he said.
"It won't be done until we get some good rains and the grass starts to green up."
Taylor said he responded to another fire on Friday at the Star Blanket First Nation and a home was lost there, as well.
"There's definitely a risk to people's lives like when houses are being burned," Taylor said. "There's definitely a danger and risk there."
Taylor said there were no reported injuries.