West-central Saskatchewan battles significant wild fire

Around lunch time on Monday, fire crews from the Rural Municipality of Biggar were sent out to try and fight an out-of-control blaze. The fire spread rapidly due to high winds and dry conditions, all to common in over much of Saskatchewan this spring. During a short period of time, flames spread to cover the area southwest of the town between Highways 4 and 51 and Tower and Duperow Roads.

Saskatchewan’s fire commissioner, Duane McKay, called the fire “significant” in a teleconference with reporters Tuesday afternoon. He added three out of the four flanks are controlled; however, the one that isn’t controlled yet, was in a tricky spot near bush and trees — along with livestock.

He believes the animals will be safe as crews are working around the clock to contain the blaze, and volunteers from neighbouring farms are helping each other out to get the livestock to a safe pasture.

McKay says it’s still too early in the investigation to know just how and where the wild fire started but added crews will be up in the air shortly to get arial shots which will help determine the cause due to wind patterns.

As Biggar remains under a state of emergency due to smoke in the area, McKay is urging people to not have camp fires, burn garbage, conduct controlled burns, etc. to minimize the chance of another fire starting. Currently, more than 30 rural municipalities have a fire ban in place.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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