Residents who live in northern communities not affected by the ongoing wildfire have a chance to go home Saturday.
The Ministry of Highways has arranged a convoy to escort residents of Missinipe, Otter Rapids, Brabant, Southend and the Athabasca Basin back home along Highway 102. The convoy will also include commercial and supply vehicles.
Highway 102 will still remain closed to all other traffic.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for people that were trapped in the south due to the road closure, nothing to do with their home communities, to allow them to move safely through that area and get them back home,” Ministry of Government relations spokesman Duane McKay said.
Cars can gather at a police blockade on Highway 2, 10 kilometres south of Air Ronge at 5 p.m. Saturday. The convoy will close at 6:30 p.m. and late arrivals will be turned away along with anyone who is not a permanent resident of the listed communities.
The convoy leave at 7 p.m., heading north on Highway 102 until Sucker River, and will only stop for fuel. Cars can then continue on their own.
The Ministry of Highways’ Joel Cherry said the province will be very careful to make sure only people from communities not affected by fires will be able to join the convoy.
Police will be on hand to check identification.
“We’re not allowing people to return to communities where evacuation orders are still in effect,” Cherry said.
A release from the Ministry of Highways said residents should bring their own supplies because Highway 102 is still closed and they will not be allowed to travel south.
Residents can call 1-306-425-4322 for a voice recording of the latest information.