Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned. (Brittney Matejka/Twitter)

Out-of-control Saskatchewan wildfire triggers state of emergency, evacuation

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown

Dozens of patients have been moved out of a hospital in Biggar, Sask., because of smoke from a nearby wildfire that has covered a wide area but is moving away from the community thanks to a change in wind direction.

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown, while another eight patients have been sent to City Hospital in Saskatoon.

The move follows a state of emergency that was declared early Tuesday by the town and the Rural Municipality of Biggar after the blaze got rolling in an area six to eight kilometres southwest of the town.

The fire was declared out of control Monday afternoon and officials evacuated a wide area as a precaution, with shelter space provided at the Biggar Community Hall and the recreation complex in the village of Purdue.

Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned.

She says the change in wind to the northwest is pushing the blaze away from populated areas.

“We’re exhausted,” said Biggar fire chief Gerry Besse, after spending more than 20 hours battling flames that officials say have burned about 100 square km so far.

“This is going to take days to put out.”

The fire was still listed as out of control Tuesday morning and people were being told to be ready to leave their homes if instructed.

Firefighters from four outside communities are helping Biggar and area emergency personnel. The provincial emergency response team is also on scene with staff and equipment.

Farmers in the affected area have been using their machinery to create fire breaks to stop the advancing flames.

De Moissac said water bombers are expected to attack the blaze, but she fears that a number of rural properties still face a fire threat.

“Emotions are high,” she said. “We’re not used to this. We’re tinder dry … that old grass just burns like gasoline.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Elk River reclaims property as its own

Laws make it harder to protect private land than ever before says farmer, local government

Wildfire burning southeast of Sparwood estimated 0.1ha in size

Nine BC Wildfire Service personnel are onsite responding to a wildfire approximately… Continue reading

Black Press Kootenay Career Fair underway in Cranbrook

Today, Thursday, August 22, around 40 employers will be waiting to meet potential new employees

Artist Michael Hepher selected to paint mural downtown Fernie

The mural will be located on The Beanpod, 691 2 Ave, Fernie, on the outside wall.

UPDATED: Crews remain on scene of Jaffray hay barn fires

Emergency personnel remain on scene throughout Wednesday to put out hot spots

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Independent cannabis store blazing uncharted trails in Fernie

Stick & Stone Cannabis Co., Fernie’s first independently run cannabis store, opened… Continue reading

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

NDP bring Green New Deal to the Kootenays

MPs Wayne Stetski and Peter Julian held climate change talks in Nelson, Cranbrook and Revelstoke

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

Most Read