Evacuation ordered in southwest Sask. town due to wildfire

By CJME Staff
October 17, 2017 - 4:34pm

Wildfire officials have issued an emergency evacuation order for the town of Burstall, Sask. and the Regional Municipality of Deerforks due to a fire burning south of the Alberta border town.

With winds gusting towards the northeast at 85 km/h as of 3:30 p.m., an emergency alert said the wildfire had the potential to cause emergency situations for the public.

Residents in Burstall and the south part of the R.M. of Deerforks are being told to evacuate the area and go north towards Leader, located approximately 37 minutes to the northeast.

Pictures from the area showed heavy smoke blocking out the sun as people left the region.

Burstall Mayor Tegan Bodnarchuk told 980 CJME the fire was approximately three kilometres south of the town, with high winds exacerbating the situation.

Jim Hale, a farmer in the province’s southwest, also took photos from Lemsford — located about 82 kilometres to the east of Burstall — showing smoke blocking the sunshine.

“It’s all just dark grey smoke,” he said. “If it’s moving as fast as the wind is moving, it could be near (Lemsford) within a couple hours.”

Officials and residents in Leader were preparing to receive evacuees Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant Town Administrator Erin Romaniuk said the community centre in Leader was open, but they were exploring other shelter options.

“Whether that’s sending them to people’s houses, or the hotel in town has offered their rooms for those who need to stay the night,” she said.

Burstall has a population of just over 300. Romaniuk said they expected about 100 people to arrive by Tuesday night.

 

cjnbnews@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @battlefordsNOW

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