Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned. (Brittney Matejka/Twitter)

Out-of-control Saskatchewan wildfire triggers state of emergency, evacuation

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown

Dozens of patients have been moved out of a hospital in Biggar, Sask., because of smoke from a nearby wildfire that has covered a wide area but is moving away from the community thanks to a change in wind direction.

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown, while another eight patients have been sent to City Hospital in Saskatoon.

The move follows a state of emergency that was declared early Tuesday by the town and the Rural Municipality of Biggar after the blaze got rolling in an area six to eight kilometres southwest of the town.

The fire was declared out of control Monday afternoon and officials evacuated a wide area as a precaution, with shelter space provided at the Biggar Community Hall and the recreation complex in the village of Purdue.

Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned.

She says the change in wind to the northwest is pushing the blaze away from populated areas.

“We’re exhausted,” said Biggar fire chief Gerry Besse, after spending more than 20 hours battling flames that officials say have burned about 100 square km so far.

“This is going to take days to put out.”

The fire was still listed as out of control Tuesday morning and people were being told to be ready to leave their homes if instructed.

Firefighters from four outside communities are helping Biggar and area emergency personnel. The provincial emergency response team is also on scene with staff and equipment.

Farmers in the affected area have been using their machinery to create fire breaks to stop the advancing flames.

De Moissac said water bombers are expected to attack the blaze, but she fears that a number of rural properties still face a fire threat.

“Emotions are high,” she said. “We’re not used to this. We’re tinder dry … that old grass just burns like gasoline.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nakusp Rotary Club raises $530 for local food bank through mask initiative

Rotary members made and gave away over 200 masks by donation in late May

RCMP search for suspects who stole batteries from Nakusp Pole Yard

RCMP said the incident occurred at approximately 12:45 a.m. on May 30

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

First Energy Metals set to start gold exploration work in the West Kootenay

The work will be conducted at two of its sites near Nakusp and Nelson

Flooding: Why the RDCK ordered hundreds of properties evacuated

All evacuation orders have now been rescinded

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Most Read