More northern Sask. wildfire evacuees return home thanks to cooler weather

A CL-215T air tanker drops water on a fire in this SPSA file photo from June 2021. The SPSA added another CL-215T to their air fleet on Tuesday, May 2. -- Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Photo.

All evacuees from Buffalo Narrows, Ile-a-la-Crosse, Dillon, St. George’s Hill and Michel Village have returned home, thanks to milder weather allowing crews to directly attack the wildfires surrounding their communities.

Local leadership rescinded the evacuation order on Wednesday. However, several priority one and two residents – including the elderly, children and those with respiratory issues – remained evacuated.

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) said it continues to support about 325 evacuees from Patuanak and English River First Nation in North Battleford.

Deschambault Lake has self-evacuated. Over a week ago, about a thousand people fled to Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Flin Flon and Creighton.

As of Monday morning, there are 19 active wildfires in Saskatchewan.

The Vermette fire (southwest of Dillon), Shaw fire (between Buffalo Narrows and Ile-a-la-Crosse), Wistigo fire (southeast of Pinehouse Lake), Sharp fire (north of La Ronge) and KPIR02 fire (south of Deschambault Lake) are uncontained.

The SPSA said cooler weather and rain has allowed crews to shift from an indirect to direct attack, working directly on the fire lines.