Public Safety Agency issues fire ban in east central Saskatchewan

Prince Albert Fire Chief Kris Olsen watches a water truck roll past Thursday afternoon on Hwy 55. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) has issued a provincial fire ban for all Crown lands, including provincial parks located within the fire ban area, for most of east-central Saskatchewan.

The SPSA made the announcement on Sunday, saying the ban was due to hot, dry conditions which were increasing fire activity.

The ban also includes all land within 4.5 km of the provincial forest boundary. It is effective immediately.

The fire ban includes any open fires, controlled burns and fireworks within all areas: south of Highway #106 from the Manitoba border to Highway #55, South of Highway #55 from Highway #106 to Prince Albert; East of Highway #2 from Prince Albert to Highway #5 and North of Highway #5 to the Manitoba border.

“With hunting season comes more human activity and, as a result, more human-caused fire starts,” SPSA Vice-President of Operations Steve Roberts said in a release.

“The SPSA encourages all residents, including hunters, to exercise caution to prevent fire starts and for all municipalities to examine the fire risk in their area.”

There are currently 11 wildfires burning in the province, including several in the area covered by the fire ban. To date, Saskatchewan has had 603 wildfires, which is more than double the five-year average of 298.

“The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency continues to monitor and detect fires as the warm weather and dry conditions extend into the fall,” Roberts said. “It is not uncommon for fires to continue to burn into the fall during warm and dry conditions such as we are experiencing.”

The SPSA is responding to several fires in the area near Hudson Bay, with helicopter and ground crews. Smoke from these fires may impact local communities, depending on wind strength and direction. The SPSA is in contact with community leaders and encourages anyone affected by smoke to stay indoors at this time.

Anyone who spots a wildfire can call 1-800-667-9660, dial 9-1-1 or contact their closest SPSA Forest Protection Area office.

Residents and visitors can find a copy of the fire ban order, the latest fire risk maps and a municipal fire ban map at People are encouraged to visit for information about fire restrictions within all provincial parks.