SPSA confirms Cloverdale wildfire near Prince Albert is contained

Officials confirmed Thursday morning that the Cloverdale Fire is now contained thanks to favourable weather and efforts from firefighters and other crews.

Steve Roberts, vice-president of operations with the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency, said during a teleconference on Thursday that there has been no growth of the fire in the past 24 hours.

“Growth will still occur probably within the perimeter, and crews and suppression efforts will continue on this fire both through ourselves and our partner agencies,” shared Roberts.

He added that this could result in potential changes to both road closures and evacuations soon. Air conditions should also begin to improve in the immediately affected area.

“The fire is not expected to continue to grow in size. It doesn’t mean the fire is extinguished, but we don’t expect to see it grow in size and get larger,” mentioned Roberts. “Otherwise it would be listed as not contained, which means it could grow.”

Roberts said there have been no new structural losses as a result of the fire, including both industrial sites and public infrastructure in the area.

The Cloverdale wildfire’s current size as of Thursday morning’s update is 5,583 hectares.

On Thursday morning, the city of Prince Albert announced evacuees in Prince Albert and the RM of Buckland can return home at 5:00 p.m. Thursday. However RM of Garden River evacuees are not permitted to return home at this time.

“Evacuees that have returned home are on a precautionary evacuation alert and should be prepared to leave on short notice when advised,” reads a release from the city of Prince Albert. “Residents are advised that crews continue to work in the area and to watch for flare-ups, smoke, crews and large equipment in the area.”

According to the SPSA, there are currently 40 people being supported by the SPSA and hotels. 59 evacuees have registered at hotels, 19 people have left to be with family and friends or have been able to return to their homes.

Officials will also reopen Highway 55 to traffic starting at 5:00 p.m. with a 60 km/h speed limit to provide safety for emergency personnel still working in the area. Motorists are advised that there is smoke in the area and reduced visibility in spots.

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