Several people who found themselves stranded by the closure of Highway 2 due to forest fires were able to return home Saturday evening.
La Ronge itself remained under an evacuation order and Highway 2 still wasn’t open to the general public as of Saturday night.
Margaret Clarke found herself stuck in Prince Albert after leaving her home near Reindeer Lake to visit her daughter. She left on June 24 and wasn’t planning to remain all that long.
“I wasn’t planning to stay more than a week, cities are not my style,” she said. Having lived her whole life in northern Saskatchewan, she said she just isn’t comfortable surrounded by cars and concrete.
“It’s not home and the heat in the city is unbearable.”
As she waited by her truck near the RCMP roadblock about 20 kilometres south of La Ronge, she said that even though she could hardly wait to get back to her own bed, she was concerned for all the people still unable to return to their homes.
“I feel so sorry. There’s so many people out there worse off. They’re stuck in unfamiliar places. It’s lonely for them” she said.
Steven Thatcher had to stay with a friend in Prince Albert for 10 days after the road got shut down, cutting him off from his home in Black Lake.
“I was good at a friend’s house. I don’t know how the people are standing it at SIAST or the hotels, for a week, two weeks some of them. It’s getting crazy,” he said.
Thatcher said he was sympathetic for thousands of people who just don’t know when they’ll get to go back home.
“La Ronge, I mean, they could be for another week. Hull Lake, the same thing. Uncertainty is the biggest thing, I think,” he said.