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City-sized wildfire burning in northern Saskatchewan

Wednesday, May 20th 2020, 8:52 pm - The wildfire in Saskatchewan’s Fort à la Corne forest continues to burn out of control

A wildfire in northern Saskatchewan is burning out of control and still growing, with a reported size of 40,000 hectares, larger than the city of Saskatoon.

Known as the English Fire and burning in the Fort à la Corne Provincial Forest east of Prince Albert, the fire has prompted some evacuation alerts. An alert was still in effect for the RM of Garden River Wednesday, though it had ended for the RM of Torch River.

Environment Canada has issued an air quality advisory for parts of central and northern Saskatchewan, including the city of Saskatoon.

"Air quality in locations down wind of the fire will at times be poor. Northeasterly winds today will gradually shift to the south on Thursday moving the smoke out of the area and possibly into north central Saskatchewan," the agency says.

The fire grew fivefold over the long weekend, and has threatened farmland and livestock in the area, according to CTV News. Officials told CTV news a shift in the wind made for a tougher fight against the flames.

As for what the weather holds in the region, it's a mixed bag, though leaning favourable. Wind gusts have made it difficult to slow the spread of the fire and unsafe for emergency personnel, specifically those operating helicopters, to function in the area.

Winds are expected to diminish and rain will track over the site of the wildfire. However, there is the chance for some thunderstorms, which could bring heavy downpours but also create strong wind gusts.

Check back for updates as we monitor the situation.

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