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Cool, wet weather helped keep number of forest fires low
CTV Prince Albert
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2012 4:41PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, August 29, 2012 5:25PM CST
While forest fire season wasn't busy here in Saskatchewan, crews and equipment were frequently deployed to other jurisdictions.
The 387 fires crews dealt with throughout the season is slightly more than last year, but comes in below the province’s 10-year average, which is over 400.
Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff says none of the fires posed a major threat to people or property. "I'm happy to say that although the numbers are higher than last year, there has been no significant damage to public infrastructure or evacuation of communities during this year's fire season."
199 fires were started by lightning strikes and the other 188 were determined to be human caused. Wildfire Management Director Steve Roberts says that is a problem his staff takes very seriously.
"We do an investigation on all fires to find the root cause. That could be people burning without authority. We have an enforcement program and we've also tracked down people who have started fires intentionally. Our goal is to investigate all human-caused fires, determine a cause and tailor our prevention programs to address those."
Roberts says cool, wet weather early in the season helped keep numbers down this year and that allowed the province to lend crews and equipment, including water-bombers, to other Canadian provinces and even nearby American states like Idaho and Montana.
Cheveldayoff says he takes pride in being able to share Saskatchewan resources with other jurisdictions.
“Whether it's neighbouring provinces or our friends in the United States. I think it's our duty to do that."
The crews and equipment are deployed in those other regions through Mutual Aid Resource Sharing Agreements and the costs are covered by the jurisdiction receiving the aid.