Active wildfire count in Saskatchewan increases to 137

There are now 137 active wildfires burning in Saskatchewan today as crews continue to try and contain them.

That brings the total amount of fires in the province this year to 382, which is more than 170 over the five year average.

Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Vice-President of Operations Steve Roberts says campers in Narrow Hills Provincial Park have been put on high alert.

“That fire is actually impacting the southern half of Narrow Hills Provincial Park, so we have asked them to put campers and recreational folks in the south half of the park on advisory should that fire continue to grow northward,” Roberts said. “Our expectations is the wind will be from the north, which will keep the fire from moving into the park any further.”

Roberts says with rain in the forecast near La Ronge, there’s a plan in place for any relief on the way.

“They will change wind flow and direction as these systems come in, and we will have to take that into account crew safety and community safety,” Roberts said. “Also assessing how much potential rainfall we could get, if the numbers are not significant then our efforts will obviously be able to ramp up while we have that brief reprieve.”

At least 71 people have been evacuated at this time.

SaskPower spokesperson Joel Cherry says there’s one fire-related power outage in the Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake area.

“It’s likely that the fire there in the area damaged our lines into that community,” Cherry said. “For safety reasons, we were unable to get in there (Thursday) night , but we have an aerial survey going on right now, and we’re going to start working on a plan to restore service there, but right now there’s no estimated restore time.”

SaskTel is reporting nine communities and their surrounding areas are without SaskTel services due to the fires as well.

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