Mill donates $10,000 to volunteer force
Daily Herald staff
More thank yous rolled in Thursday for the firefighters and other personnel who kept the Cloverdale wildfire at bay.
Paper Excellence, which owns the Prince Albert Pulp and Paper Mill, announced Thursday that it would be donating $10,000 to the Buckland Fire Department.
“We know many people came together to fight the blaze and protect not only our mill, but homes and other businesses—the City of Prince Albert Fire Department crews, Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA), Buckland Fire and Rescue, Garden River Fire Department, and all others that volunteered and lent a hand working on the fire. We can’t thank everyone personally, so we hope this donation of $10,000 to the Buckland Fire and Rescue will make a difference to the whole community,” said Kelvin Winge, Site Manager, Prince Albert Pulp Inc. in a press release. “I’m continuing to work with the Prince Albert Fire Department to manage the ongoing impacts of the fire on the mill site.
“I’m grateful for all the work and support they are providing to us,” said Winge.
While most of the mill sits on city land, a portion of the site is located in the RM of Buckland.
The donation will help fund future fire response.
“I thank Paper Excellence for this generous donation,” said Garry Schrader, Fire Chief, Buckland Fire and Rescue. “The average cost of a fire call can range from $5000 to more than $50,000, so this donation makes a meaningful impact to our bottom line.”
The Prince Albert Police Service also sent out a thank you Thursday, thanking the local community for its support and words of encouragement.
The police assisted with evacuations of residents, directed traffic and protected personal property Many officers worked overtime and adjusted their schedules to support firefighting efforts, working with fire departments, the city, RCMP and provincial government.
Since the fire, the police have received thank you cards from residents in the evacuation area.
“Your efforts were so greatly appreciated. Thank you for getting us all out safely and protecting our properties. We are all eternally grateful,” one card said.
“When we looked back at our house we saw huge plumes of smoke almost engulfing our home and our yard … There was a police officer at the end of our driveway,” said another.
“We talked to him about our fears with one of them being our fear of theft. He said, ‘don’t worry’, I’ll watch your driveway and will drive up to your yard as well. Other officers throughout the evacuation were also very kind, reassuring and left us feeling very calm during a very hectic situation.”
Police Chief Jon Bergen credited the professionalism and experience of his officers with ensuring the safety of residents and their property during evacuations.
A joint investigation conducted by the city, province and RM determined the fire was started by a lightning strike.
The city confirmed Thursday that the State of Emergency declared in response to the fire expired on May 25 and was not renewed.
Scans have identified hot spots throughout the fire area, and Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency crews are working to extinguish them.
Hot weather will make those spots easier to find, but there may be smoke in the area and crews are prepared t respond to flare-ups.