At the peak of Saskatchewan’s wildfires, there were over 850 military personnel in the province fighting the fires. Now, 12 days after they were called in, the order to redeploy and head home has been given.
“We still have currently about 400 troops on the fire line. That’ll go down to somewhere between 100 to 200 (Monday). And I expect by Tuesday, the vast majority of our troops will be redeployed or in the process of redeploying,” said Brigadier General Wayne Eyre, commander of third Canadian Division and Joint Task Force West.
As Eyre spoke to the media on Sunday, soldiers were already on their way home.
A detachment will be left behind to clean and finalize any outstanding orders or contracts. Eyre commended the work of his troops, as did Deputy Premier Don McMorris.
“Through amazing work of women and men throughout the province, but especially through the armed forces … all of those communities are secure now,” said McMorris.
There are still 100 fires burning as of Sunday and though most evacuees are able to return home, there is still a direct threat to a few communities.
Hull Lake and Clam Crossing are still under threat from the 900 hectare Stowers fire, which is still not contained.
McMorris was unable to comment on the cost associated with fighting the fires in Saskatchewan.
“It’s still early days … there’s still lots of work to be done. The communities are secure but there’s a number of fires still burning,” said McMorris.