Extreme fire watch

By Geoff Lee

May 19, 2016 12:00 AM

The neighbouring rural municipalities of Britannia and Wilton in Saskatchewan remain under an extreme fire hazard with the Victoria Day long weekend ahead.
A total fire ban has been in effect since April 18 with the possibility of some relief from showers forecast by Environment Canada as early as Friday.
“The forecast is looking somewhat promising for the weekend when we might see some moisture, but we will have to wait and see if that actually comes to pass,” said Aaron Buckingham, spokesperson for the Britannia-Wilton Fire Department.
The fire hazard is still extreme for the northwest part of the province.
“There’s been zero moisture and lots of wind and it’s still as dangerous as it’s ever been here this spring,” Buckingham said earlier this week.
The evacuation of Fort McMurray from wildfires and forests fires in northern Saskatchewan have helped to spread the message about the local fire hazard and bans to the pleasure of Buckingham.
“We’ve been fairly quiet overall, which is great for us because that means to us people are being cautious and they are respecting the fire ban,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple (fires)—nothing that we couldn’t contain quickly.”
He noted the fire ban is still on, “100 per cent” in his words.
Sandy Beach Regional Park, a popular weekend destination north of Lloydminster, is under the full ban with the hottest days of summer ahead in the coming weeks.
“There is no burning of any kind whether you are in the RM of Britannia or Wilton or Sandy Beach Regional Park,” stressed Buckingham.
He advises anyone who is travelling to the RMs or is heading out of town this weekend to be aware of the local and provincial bans to be safe.
“If you are heading out on the weekend make sure to check with the local government where you’re heading to make sure that there is or is not a ban,” said Buckingham.
Buckingham reported some firefighting personnel from the provincial Emergency Management team helped the fire fight at Fort Mac, but no one from his department was called into duty.

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