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

According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stood at 6.3 per cent in May 2021, nearly unchanged from April’s rate of 6.2 per cent. (Black Press Media File)
Unemployment rate in Greater Victoria stagnates at 6.3 per cent in May

Latest figures reflect conditions before lifting of public health measures

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

The City of Victoria is hoping to ring in the summer by celebrating local art and offering some distanced, live music to surprise people in parks, plazas and other public spaces. (Photo courtesy of the City of Victoria)
Live, pop-up concerts and local art being showcased in Victoria this summer

People will see surprise serenades at 16 locations throughout the summer

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Jada Benwell and Connor Larkey are the valedictorians of the 2021 graduating class at Parkland Secondary School. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Pandemic taught lessons in perseverance for North Saanich high schoolers

Parkland Secondary School to release 2021 grad ceremony video on June 25

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read