Residents of Prince Albert watch a plume of smoke rise from a forest fire burning northeast of the city in Prince Albert, Sask., Monday, May 17, 2021. The northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a wildfire that’s fast-moving and forcing some residents to flee for safety. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

Residents of Prince Albert watch a plume of smoke rise from a forest fire burning northeast of the city in Prince Albert, Sask., Monday, May 17, 2021. The northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a wildfire that’s fast-moving and forcing some residents to flee for safety. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Kayle Neis

Fire prompts evacuation of part of northern Saskatchewan city

Prince Albert mayor: ‘We’re fighting a monster..and it’s getting bigger’

A northern Saskatchewan city has declared a local state of emergency due to a fast-moving wildfire that’s forcing some residents to flee for safety.

Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne told an online news conference late Monday about three dozen homes have been evacuated so far in the northeast part of the city.

He said winds are blowing the fire away from Prince Albert, but if the winds shift, the city of about 35,000 could be in trouble.

“We’re fighting a monster. That’s the best way to describe it. And it’s getting bigger,” Dionne said.

Anyone who lives or works north of highway 55 east of Cloverdale Road and west of Honeymoon Road must evacuate immediately. Evacuees are being directed to the Margo Fournier Centre in Prince Albert.

Premier Scott Moe said on Twitter the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is assisting the Prince Albert and Buckland fire departments to contain the wildfire, including with crews, planes, and waterbombers.

Moe also urged residents to stay away from the area and pay attention to further information from local authorities.

The fire was burning on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River on Monday night and most of Prince Albert is on the south side of the river. Dionne said the winds were blowing northeast on Monday night, away from the river and the city.

However, Dionne said the temperature was over 30 Celsius and much of the blaze was in an area of mostly forest that was dry and full of deadfall.

Dionne said the area of the fire was about two-and-a-half kilometres square.

“It’s creating its own wind tunnel ahead of it, it’s got so large,” he said, noting preparations are underway in case more of the city is threatened.

“At this point it’s in control. And so is the weather.”

Fire crews have been sprinkling houses, he said. Fortunately there have been no injuries.

Dionne said it started around 2:30 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon. It isn’t known how the fire started.

Other areas that could be in the fire’s path are also being warned by SaskAlert to be ready to move, including the Rural Municipality of Garden River.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: Fort McMurray in COVID-19 emergency 5 years after wildfire

RELATED: B.C.’s wildfire season begins with two suspected human-caused wildfires in the interior

Just Posted

Tim Wilkinson, who will attempt a double anvil triathlon on Vancouver Island on July 3, poses with his training partner, Shadow, who has been dragged up and down the Nanaimo Parkway many times. (Submitted)
Vancouver Island triathlete takes on ‘double anvil’ for charity

7.6km swim, 360km bike ride, and 84.4km run, all within 36 hours

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

The city-owned lot at 361 St. Julien St., which has been home to a temporary homeless site for more than a year, will be sold and plans are to build a three-storey mixed-use development there, Peter de Verteuil, Duncan CAO explained at a recent council meeting. (File photo)
New development planned for homeless site in Duncan

Lot on St. Julien Street would see three-storey building

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read