Cindy Ross had five minutes to pack her bags and make it to the bus leaving Hall Lake as she was taken away from the wildfires to an evacuation centre in Regina.
“It was scary seeing those hot spots on the road, and everybody was freaking out,” said Ross.
After an 11-hour ride, Ross and her two-year-old daughter, Flora, made it to Regina. They’re away from fire, but still in the smoke.
Ross wasn’t able to grab everything she needed and, after being in Regina for almost a week, what little she brought has run out. But the evacuee centre has been able to help.
“The Red Cross and everybody has just been so helpful. It’s been amazing, it’s like I’m not even away from home,” said Ross.
“We were at (Evraz Place) first. It was so cold, and we started getting sick so they moved us (to the University of Regina) … thank god,” said Ross.
Most evacuees are at Evraz Place, while people with preexisting conditions, and health concerns are sent to the university.
After nearly a week of being away from home many people are running out of things to do.
“It’s alright here. Sometimes it gets boring, sometimes it’s fun … nothing much to do, just sit around and eat, and sleep. It’s alright though,” said Dwayne McKenzie.
Many evacuees are moving around the province as the wildfires keep them out of their homes.
Since the update from the provincial government on Friday to Saturday, 388 people were added to the evacuee list bringing the total to 5,588 people receiving some sort of services.
Most people were in Prince Albert – 2,293 as of Saturday morning. Karri Kempf with the Ministry of Social Services said many people are there because they want to be as close as possible to their homes.
As of Saturday morning, just under 1,800 evacuees were in Saskatoon – an almost 700-person jump from the numbers given by the government on Friday.
About 1,100 people were in Regina from northern communities, and 385 people were in North Battleford.
Kempf said some people are moving around to different areas by choice.
“What’s starting to happen now as we move a few more days into the event, is evacuees are able to make more friends and family connections, so some of them are moving for that reason. We have other folks who may, by their own choice, leave a congregate site and attempt to move closer to their home communities.”
There are nine new fires as of Saturday morning, which could affect how soon people can get back to their homes.
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