Remaining residents returning home, power switched back on

Photo courtesy Sophia Morrall. The fire burned right up to the homes of people who were evacuated due to the Cloverdale wildfire. No houses were lost.

SaskPower has restored service to the majority of people who were without due to the Cloverdale wildfire north of Prince Albert.

The remaining evacuation order, issued for the RM of Garden River, has also been lifted.

No houses or industrial facilities were lost. A tally of other losses, such as sheds and outbuildings that may have been located on the edges of property lines.

In some instances, fire came within a few metres of homes. Sprinkler systems and fire crews kept anything from burning down.

Officials said Friday that cooler weather helped further efforts to fight the fire.

While it is still expected to be weeks before it is fully extinguished, crews are focused on tackling hotspots, such as sawdust piles at industrial sites. Those piles will require crews to break them up and hose them down with water brought in with tankers. Heavy equipment also continues to work on the blaze.

Drones will use thermal cameras to identify other hotspots that aren’t producing smoke. Some of those areas might be smouldering but won’t show any signs of burning, especially during cooler weather conditions.

An investigation into the cause and origin of the fire is ongoing. Investigators have found the origin, but are still interviewing witnesses as they look to determine a cause.

Highway 55 has been opened, but Pulp Haul Road, which crosses through the wildfire area, remains closed.