Saskatoon

Dry conditions leave Sask. fire officials on high alert

Hot and dry conditions across Saskatchewan have the province's emergency officials on high alert. The fire hazard risk is considered high to extreme in the southern half of the province.

The fire hazard risk is considered high to extreme in the southern half of Saskatchewan

During last summer's wildfires, Captain Ward Lentz, a Reserve Force officer from 38 Canadian Brigade Group, prepared his platoon for fire suppression operations near La Ronge, Sask. (Photo by Melanie Ferguson, Canadian Army Public Affairs)

Hot and dry conditions across Saskatchewan have the province's emergency officials on high alert.

"We are asking people to be extremely cautious when it comes to using fire. In several municipalities, we're actually seeing bans go into place," said Duane McKay, Saskatchewan's fire commissioner.

On Monday, a fire ban was placed in La Ronge, Sask. after a brush fire flared up inside of the municipality. 

The R.M. of Corman Park, which circles the city of Saskatoon, also has a fire ban in place.

'Better prepared this year'

McKay said fire crews have already been brought in to start dropping fire retardant around Neudorf, Sask.

"Last year was extreme. We are a lot more coordinated and we learned a lot from last year and I would say we are better prepared this year," he added.

This year, the spread of forest fires in the north will be worse than last summer, he said. But right now, the risk lies in the southern half of the province where the fire hazard risk is considered high to extreme.                           

Areas south of Regina are currently on high alert because of the hot spring conditions.

"If conditions rise very rapidly over the next few days then I'm sure the province would consider putting a ban in northern part of the province."

Fire hazard forecast for southern Saskatchewan on May 3, 2016. (Government of Saskatchewan)

With files from CBC's Adam Hunter

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