La Ronge, Sask. gets new emergency service resources after 2015 forest fires

La Ronge, Sask. has a new emergency service officer, following concerns raised about the provincial government's communications during major forest fires in 2015.

Communities voiced concerns about government's communications during evacuations

A new emergency service officer has been placed in La Ronge, Sask. after a survey found evacuees felt there was poor communication during the 2015 forest fires. (Corey Hardcastle/Government of Saskatchewan)

La Ronge, Sask. has a new emergency service officer, following concerns raised about the provincial government's communications during major forest fires in 2015.

The 2015 wildfire season, which lasted 28 consecutive days, resulted in the evacuation of more than 50 communities.

In a government survey, people from those communities voiced concerns about the government's communication.

Duane McKay, the executive director of the Ministry of Emergency Management and Fire Safety, said a new emergency service officer had since been placed in a new office at La Ronge.

He said the officer would attempt to build relationships with community leaders.

"Communication sometimes is really based on trust and if you know the individual and somebody tells you something, even if it's difficult news, it is more likely to be believed," said McKay. 

He added that the new officer could also assist in setting up emergency operations centres and communicating with local leaders.

La Ronge is located about 380 kilometres north of Saskatoon.