Morning starts with blanket of smoke

The Bell fire north of Hudson Bay is just over 71,000 acres and is being fought by crews on the ground along with helicopters, air tankers and heavy equipment. Photo courtesy of the Hudson Bay Trail Riders.

Residents of Prince Albert woke up the morning of August 2 to find the air grey with smoke as forest fires continue to burn in northern parts of Saskatchewan.
The air quality was bad enough that Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement, saying the air was at the high risk level eight, on a 1 – 10 scale.
People with heart and lung conditions could be at higher risk and are most affected by air pollution.
As of August 3, there were still 130 wildfires burning in the province with 18 of those not contained.
The largest fire of concern is the Bell fire, north of Hudson Bay, currently 30,482 hectares (just over 71,000 acres).
In the area are the Wildcat Hill Provincial Park, Highway 9 to the east, Highway 55 to the north and Highway 3 to the south.
The fire is being fought by the Type 1, 2 and 3 crews, currently working on perimeter containment on the west side and protecting values on the south flank of the fire.
North of Smeaton, the Harding fire has grown to 23,319 hectares (55,966 acres). It is being actioned by Type 1,2 and 3 crews, air tanker and helicopter support along with heavy equipment.
In the area are Highway 106 and the south end of the Narrow Hills Provincial Park.
There, crews are finding hotspots and dozers will continue work on the south east portion of the fire, south of the Torch River.
Further north, the Milne Fire – with the community of Grandmother’s Bay to the south – sits at 5,767 hectares (13,840 acres) and is being fought by Type 1 crews, helicopter support and air tanker support.
In the area are Highway 102, the Grandmother’s Bay access road, Churchill River campground and the Devil Lake campground.
Crews are working along the access road and are protecting values as needed.
West of Stanley Mission, the Lynx fire is 4,126 (9,900 acres). It is being fought by Type 1 and 3 crews along with helicopter support.
Values in the area include Highway 102 and 915 along with the Little Deer Lake campground.
No assessment was available for the Theriau fire, south east of Stony Rapids due to heavy smoke.
Some rain fell on Tuesday, August 3 with more expected the following day but Thursday has a forecast of return to sunny skies and a high temperature of 27 degrees.