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Wildfire prompts evacuation order for Waterhen Lake First Nation
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 5:47PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:55PM CST
People in the Waterhen Lake First Nation have been asked to evacuate from their homes as wildfires risk the community.
According to the Saskatchewan government, 54 people are staying in Meadow Lake in hotels and 122 evacuees are staying in Saskatoon’s Henk Ruys Soccer Centre, which the Red Cross transformed into a shelter.
A wildfire burns west of the First Nation in the Meadow Lake Provincial Park. The fire is considered not contained, as flames continue to grow, despite firefighters’ suppression efforts.
“There’s lots of wind direction, so it challenged our lines in all direction. There was some access concerns with the one road in and one road out,” Scott Wasylenchuk, the province’s director of wildfire operations, said.
Dale Martell, an evacuee from Waterhen Lake First Nation, said his community was covered in smoke earlier this week.
“At night we saw a flare-up on the tree top. The other morning it flared up again and that’s when they called ‘a state of emergency,’” Martell told CTV News.
Martell said he was glad to get out of the smoke to ensure his 16-month old daughter could breathe.
The province continues to send air tankers to the wildfire, but said the shifting winds and dry conditions make it difficult.
A fire ban is being enforced across central and southern Saskatchewan.