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'Absolutely necessary': Snow, rain easing concerns for Sask wildfire season, farmers


If April showers bring May flowers, then what does snow in May bring?

Well, if you're a farmer in Saskatchewan right now, you're not concerned one bit.

"It's fantastic. It's excellent. Even though you don't generally anticipate waking up in May to a snowstorm and seeing everything turn white again, it's moisture, and that is just absolutely necessary to what we do," Kerrobert-area farmer Jeremy Welter said.

Many parts of the province woke up to snow on the ground Thursday morning as it slowly turned to sleet, then rain for the rest of the day.

Welter is happy not just because of the snow, but the timing.

After three years of drought conditions, having a multi-day steady flow of moisture right before seeding could be the boost he needs.

"This early moisture makes such a huge difference for literally every aspect of agriculture," he said. "It's very easy to get down in the mouth when conditions are poor. So this is definitely a mood brightener as well."

The outlook going into fire season is improving as well.

Many rural municipalities in Saskatchewan lifted fire bans as continued snow and rainfall managed to ease wildfire concerns, for now.

"We will continue to reassess. If it gets to the point of being dry again, we will need to implement the ban again," RM of Corman Park chief administrative officer Kerry Hilts said.

But he doesn't want people to let their guard down, because conditions could change quickly.

"Be cautious, and understand the impacts," he said.

"We do get these fires and sometimes they do get out of control, and sometimes there is a big cost on the RM."

In downtown Saskatoon, people weren't exactly happy to see snow, especially if you're Marc Arsenault visiting from New Brunswick, who would have been doing yard work if he were back home.

"I don't want to see anymore snow. I'm done with the snow," he said.

With more rain in the forecast Friday and parts of next week, the entire agriculture industry is happy to watch it fall.

Welter isn't concerned about seeding being pushed back for his operation, but he understands farmers can be a fickle bunch.

"You'll never, ever, ever find a farmer that can't find something to take issue with," he said. "Either it's too dry or else it's too wet and then they can't get into the field and they're just as angry as they would be if they were planting into dust."

Snow and rain may mean many things to different people, but for those fighting wildfires or putting a crop in the ground, each flake and drop is worth celebrating. Top Stories

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