Residents of Prince Albert watch a plume of smoke rise from a forest fire burning northeast of the city in Prince Albert, Sask., Monday, May 17, 2021. The northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a wildfire that’s fast-moving and forcing some residents to flee for safety. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

Residents of Prince Albert watch a plume of smoke rise from a forest fire burning northeast of the city in Prince Albert, Sask., Monday, May 17, 2021. The northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a wildfire that’s fast-moving and forcing some residents to flee for safety. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

Fire prompts evacuation of part of northern Saskatchewan city

Prince Albert mayor: ‘We’re fighting a monster..and it’s getting bigger’

A northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a fast-moving wildfire that’s forcing some residents to flee for safety.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne told an online news conference late Monday about three dozen homes have been evacuated so far in the northeast part of the city.

He said winds are blowing the fire away from Prince Albert, but if the winds shift, the city of about 35,000 could be in trouble.

“We’re fighting a monster. That’s the best way to describe it. And it’s getting bigger,” Dionne said.

Anyone who lives or works north of highway 55 east of Cloverdale Road and west of Honeymoon Road must evacuate immediately. Evacuees are being directed to the Margo Fournier Centre in Prince Albert.

Premier Scott Moe said on Twitter the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is assisting the Prince Albert and Buckland fire departments to contain the wildfire, including with crews, planes, and waterbombers.

Moe also urged residents to stay away from the area and pay attention to further information from local authorities.

The fire was burning on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River on Monday night and most of Prince Albert is on the south side of the river. Dionne said the winds were blowing northeast on Monday night, away from the river and the city.

However, Dionne said the temperature was over 30 Celsius and much of the blaze was in an area of mostly forest that was dry and full of deadfall.

Dionne said the area of the fire was about two-and-a-half kilometres square.

“It’s creating its own wind tunnel ahead of it, it’s got so large,” he said, noting preparations are underway in case more of the city is threatened.

“At this point it’s in control. And so is the weather.”

Fire crews have been sprinkling houses, he said. Fortunately there have been no injuries.

Dionne said it started around 2:30 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon. It isn’t known how the fire started.

Other areas that could be in the fire’s path are also being warned by SaskAlert to be ready to move, including the Rural Municipality of Garden River.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Fort McMurray in COVID-19 emergency 5 years after wildfire

RELATED: B.C.’s wildfire season begins with two suspected human-caused wildfires in the interior

Just Posted

Langley Lake supplies the drinking water for Union Bay. File photo by Bob Ell
Comox Valley board wants to halt Union Bay-area logging plans

Regional district inviting forest company to work on watershed plan

Corwin Fox performs on the grounds of the Courtenay and District Fish & Game Club for a 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest segment, with the iconic Comox Glacier in the background. The 2021 festival will feature numerous outdoor segments, highlighting the beauty of the Comox Valley. Photo via Island MusicFest
2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest format will showcase the beauty of the Comox Valley

The 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest -The Virtual Edition - will be like… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox takes step closer to finalizing Northeast Comox Storm Water Management Plan

“(This has been a) tremendous work in progress for many years”

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Most Read