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Sandy Bay, Sask. declares state of emergency because of smoke from wildfires
Published Thursday, August 31, 2017 9:16AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, August 31, 2017 4:09PM CST
The community of Sandy Bay has declared a state of emergency as a result of smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan.
About 70 residents with health concerns were bused from Sandy Bay to hotels in Prince Albert overnight.
According to Saskatchewan Social Services, there are 640 evacuees staying in Prince Albert, which puts the city at full capacity.
North Battleford could be considered to accommodate the increasing amount of evacuees.
Approximately 1,500 people from Sandy Bay, Birch Portage and Jan Lake are using Social Services’ facilities.
There are 824 people using services in Saskatoon and approximately 500 are staying at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre, while others take shelter in hotels.
“At this time almost all our provincial resources are focused on the Pelican Narrows fires,” Steve Roberts, executive director of Saskatchewan Wildfire Management, said.
There are currently three large uncontained fires burning in the Pelican Narrows area. The largest fire, at 6,000 hectares and 14 kilometers south of Pelican Narrows, has breached the main road.
“To date, no structures or infrastructures have been reported burned in any of the communities threatened by these fires,” Roberts explained.
A team of 140 people with 15 helicopters are working to combat the wildfires.
Jan Lake and Birch Portage are both completely evacuated, while people still remain in Pelican Narrows and Sandy Bay.