Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned. (Brittney Matejka/Twitter)

Out-of-control Saskatchewan wildfire triggers state of emergency, evacuation

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown

Dozens of patients have been moved out of a hospital in Biggar, Sask., because of smoke from a nearby wildfire that has covered a wide area but is moving away from the community thanks to a change in wind direction.

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown, while another eight patients have been sent to City Hospital in Saskatoon.

The move follows a state of emergency that was declared early Tuesday by the town and the Rural Municipality of Biggar after the blaze got rolling in an area six to eight kilometres southwest of the town.

The fire was declared out of control Monday afternoon and officials evacuated a wide area as a precaution, with shelter space provided at the Biggar Community Hall and the recreation complex in the village of Purdue.

Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned.

She says the change in wind to the northwest is pushing the blaze away from populated areas.

“We’re exhausted,” said Biggar fire chief Gerry Besse, after spending more than 20 hours battling flames that officials say have burned about 100 square km so far.

“This is going to take days to put out.”

The fire was still listed as out of control Tuesday morning and people were being told to be ready to leave their homes if instructed.

Firefighters from four outside communities are helping Biggar and area emergency personnel. The provincial emergency response team is also on scene with staff and equipment.

Farmers in the affected area have been using their machinery to create fire breaks to stop the advancing flames.

De Moissac said water bombers are expected to attack the blaze, but she fears that a number of rural properties still face a fire threat.

“Emotions are high,” she said. “We’re not used to this. We’re tinder dry … that old grass just burns like gasoline.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

Parksville advocate to discuss harm-reduction measures for addicts

Morris, along with a panel of professionals, will be at the PCC on May 21

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

One year after heartbreaking B.C. search, wife reflects on late husband

First anniversary of Ben Kilmer’s disappearance, and a search that galvanized Vancouver Island

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Most Read