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

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read