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Active wildfire season continues in Saskatchewan

Currently 54 active wildfires in Saskatchewan according to latest numbers for August 1.
danger wildfire fire
Saskatchewan released its latest wildfire update to reporters on Aug. 1.

REGINA - It remains an active wildfire season in the province of Saskatchewan.

SPSA Vice-President Steve Roberts provided Tuesday’s latest update to reporters on the current wildfire situation in the province. Based on the numbers Saskatchewan is seeing one of their higher years for wildfires in terms of hectares burned as well as for numbers of fires, though short of the records.

As of Tuesday morning there are 54 active wildfires in Saskatchewan, for 370 wildfires so far this year. The 10 year average is 415 and the five-year average is 312, so this number falls somewhere in the middle. 

Of the active fires, 34 or under assessment, three fires are classified as contained, 11 are classified as protecting property, and six or not yet contained. 

So far 1.2 million hectares have burned in Saskatchewan; the average is 442,000 ha. The largest in history was 1.7 million in 2015.

As of 10 a.m.,there were only two air quality advisories and both were in northern Saskatchewan in the Athabaska region, with the majority of the fires causing those concerns coming from Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

There are two fires of note. One is the Todos fire close to Fond Du Lac, estimated at 2,990 hectares. It is not yet contained and the response has included Type 1 and Type 2 crews and helicopter support.

The other is the Hamil fire west of Wollaston Lake, listed at 4,160 hectares. It is also not contained. 

Type 1 and 2 crews and air support has responded; there has also been intermittent road closures due to the fire’s proximity to Highway 905.

There have been evacuations from Fond Du Lac due to wildfire conditions there. Those residents have been relocated to two hotels in Saskatoon and it is the community of Fond Du Lac who are leading those evacuations. No other communities are seeing evacuations at this time.

Roberts said it has been a busy season in Saskatchewan. Despite that, they have been able to provide some mutual aid support for Alberta and BC.

The forecast is for a cooler pattern and widespread showers in the north but it is expected to shift to a warming trend going into the long weekend. Roberts reminds people going out on the long weekend to “be careful with your campfires,” to “keep your camp fires contained and extinguish them when you leave,” and to be careful when using all-terrain vehicles that could create sparks. He also cautioned against the use of fireworks if conditions are dry.

Roberts also noted that the majority of fires this year have been caused by human causes. 

“The behaviour of the citizens of Saskatchewan makes a big difference on the wildfire season and the amount of impact it will have.”