Sask. likely to see normal to above-normal wildfire season: SPSA

Saskatchewan residents can expect an average to above-average season of wildfires, according to the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA).

“This will be influenced by summer weather trends and human activity in the forested areas,” Chris Clement, executive director of projects and public, said. 

Last year, several communities had to be evacuated as the province saw 367 wildfires — more than 150 above the five-year average. 

“Areas in southern Saskatchewan, which have been snow-free and were not impacted by the recent southern spring storms, are at a higher risk of grass fires occurring until dead and dry vegetation turns green,” Clement said.

According to the SPSA, half of the wildfires are caused by humans with the other half being caused by lightning. 

It urges people to take precautions when starting fires during this time of year.  

Prince Albert Grand Council Forestry and Emergency Protective Services responded to evacuations in a few northern communities last year.

“Last year was busy in certain sectors of the province, Peter Ballantyne and La Ronge Indian band specifically,” said director of forestry and emergency services Cliff Buettner.

The service helps provide 35 sustained crews to First Nations communities in the Northern Administrative District.