As wildfires burn out of control in northern Saskatchewan, those in the southwestern part of the province are on high alert as well because of extremely dry conditions.
Several rural municipalities in the Swift Current area have imposed fire bans after an emergency meeting was held earlier this week, outlined Louis Cherpin, fire chief for the RM of Swift Current. Other RMs affected include the RM of Lac Pelletier, RM of Riverside, RM of Saskatchewan Landing, RM of Coulee, RM of Whiska Creek, RM of Webb, and the RM of Excelsior, along with the Lac Pelletier Regional Park and the Wood Mountain Regional Park.
“I’ve been on the department for 22 years and I’ve never seen it this dry in this area for this long,” said Cherpin. “It’s very dry conditions right now. It’s scary dry.”
He said there are to be no open flames, which includes fire pits and burning barrels. It also includes a ban on fireworks, which he said they got around safely during Canada Day.
Farmers are being asked to be very careful outside as well, and if they’re cutting close to the ground to watch for rocks and the potential of creating sparks.
“We haven’t had significant rainfall, any moisture, since last summer, so it’s been a year since we’ve had any moisture. (The area) had a little bit of snow cover but it was off and on all winter and we haven’t had any rain at all through the spring and summer here,” he explained.
Cherpin said the ban will in place until further notice, until the area gets any significant rain.