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More residents of northern Sask. evacuated as wildfire spreads


Another Saskatchewan village is trying to evacuate as forest fires spread in the northwestern region of the province.

Buffalo Narrows issued a state of local emergency on Sunday and ordered an evacuation of all residents with a higher risk of health complications from exposure to smoke, including those with chronic health conditions, the elderly, pregnant women and children under 2-years-old.

“Because of the potential danger to life and health the northern village mayor and council and Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) have ordered an evacuation of all level 1 and 2 residents in our community,” a statement from Mayor Sandy Ericson on Sunday said.

According to the statement, a reception centre was set up in the village office to help with the evacuation, with buses loading up in the afternoon.

Just after 3 p.m., Clearwater River Dene Nation Councillor Roy Cheecham said the SPSA had closed the highway near Buffalo Narrows because the fire changed directions and crossed the road.

Cheecham's community was evacuated on May 3, with many evacuees returning by May 7, passing through Buffalo Narrows on the way home.

To complicate matters, the power was out in the entire region, including Buffalo Narrows, La Loche, Clearwater River and Île-à-la-Crosse. According to SaskPower, crews were dispatched around 3:30 p.m. to determine the cause and estimate a repair time.

An update on the village Facebook page around 4:30 p.m. said the highway could be closed for up to six hours before evacuees could move out.

Buffalo Narrows is located about 500 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon. Top Stories

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