Saskatoon

Wildfire in La Ronge, Sask., prompts call for regional fire ban

Hot summer temperatures and gusting winds created some scary moments for the Town of La Ronge, Sask., as a fire sparked up in a forest nearby.

RCMP investigating fire in a wooded area near developing subdivision

La Ronge firefighters were busy on May 2, battling a wildfire that sparked up in a heavily wooded area near a developing subdivision. (Submitted by Brian Olson)

A wildfire in the Town of La Ronge, Sask., has prompted a push for a regional fire ban.

We had a temperature today of 26 C, and 35 km/h winds. Those are good recipes for fires.- Thomas Sierzycki, mayor of La Ronge

On Monday, the La Ronge regional fire department responded to a fire bordering the new Mowery subdivision. The fire originated in a heavily forested area, before spreading to other homes. 

Nearby homes were proactive, dousing their lawns just in case the fire spread. Firefighters controlled the fire with the help of a water helicopter.

La Ronge Mayor Thomas Sierzycki said his town was packed with snow up until about mid-April, but since then they've seen very hot, dry conditions and gusting winds.

"For example, we had a temperature today of 26 C, and 35 km/h winds. Those are good recipes for fires," Sierzycki said.

Cause under investigation

While the fire was under control by Monday evening, Sierzycki said the investigation has been turned over to the RCMP.

"I don't see this as being an accident, no residents had burning permits for the area so at this time the investigation is ongoing, but again I do stress that parents and community members look out for one another and try and prevent these fires," he said. 

The fire prompted the mayor to sign off on a fire ban for the town, and he anticipates regional partners will jump aboard for a regional fire ban.

"Once we have confirmation from all three partners, I anticipate a regional fire ban in effect," he said.

"It's not about penalizing residents who are cautious with fires, but unfortunately we have to mitigate the risk of human-caused fires and those are the scary aspect for the community."

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