Wildfire near Prince Albert forces residents to evacuate; state of emergency declared

Photo City of Prince Albert.

A wildfire burning northeast of Prince Albert has forced some to evacuate the area.

A state of emergency was also declared during a special city council meeting early Monday evening.

The blaze is forcing those north of Highway 55, across from the airport east of Cloverdale Road and west of Honeymoon Road to evacuate.

About 36 homes were forced to evacuate as of Tuesday morning, but more could be forced to leave at a moments notice.

As of Tuesday morning the blaze was said to be around 1,000 hectares, roughly the size of 405 football fields.

Motorists were also being asked to stay away from Highway 55 east near Pulp Haul Road, as crews worked to get residents in the area out.

The fire was first reported around 2:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, by 5:00 p.m. people in the immediate area were being told to evacuate.

A cause is not known at this time, however a daytime high around 30 C and winds gusting close to 60 km/h quickly aided the flames Monday afternoon.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne said the wind direction will play a crucial role moving forward.

“The threat on Tuesday is that the wind is going to pick up,” he said. “I’ll tell you this, at this point the wind is blowing in the right direction, but if it changes direction, we could be in serious trouble,” Dionne said Monday night.

Dionne called the fire a monster that is still growing.

On Monday night Dionne said 95 per cent of the blaze was in a wooded area with only a small part on acreages.

The City would like to confirm that those that have been forced to evacuate can go to the Margo Fournier Centre.

Air Quality Advisories are also in effect for the area.

Wide spread power outages as far away as Waskesiu Lake are also being reported because of the fire, SaskPower has been providing updates on their website and Twitter account.

Greg Forness captured this photo from his backyard just south of Prince Albert on Monday afternoon.

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