Slave Lake fire strikes cord with Prince Albert homeowners
About 7,000 people who live in Slave Lake are still waiting on word when they can return home.
A wildfire has destroyed at least a third of the community and residents were asked to leave their homes on Sunday.
The fire in Slave Lake ignites some bad memories for some Prince Albert homeowners.
This time last year a fire tore through the Nesbit forest, north of Prince Albert. About 300 hectares were on fire — roughly three times the size of the University of Regina campus.
By the end, nearly 60 homes were evacuated.
"It was pretty scary for us but fortunately we didn't suffer the same degree of damages many of them up there are suffering. That is phenomenal," said Bert Provost.
He can still vividly remember his own brush with wildfire.
"We were sitting on our back deck watching it move northeast until all that refuse caught and it started moving towards our house. I whipped down to the corner where all the firefighters were and I saw Fire Chief Miller and told him what was happening," Provost said.
Fortunately, the Buckland Fire Department was able to stop the fire before it reached the house.
Provost did however suffer some damage.
"We've got about another hundred fence posts to replace sometime this summer. On our north quarter it also took out our fence line up there and we had quite a large growth of spruce up there. It took all the spruce right out, he said.
Larry Fremont, the province's fire education and prevention co-ordinator, said the risk for another fire is always there, but the fire last year helped somewhat.
"Now it provides us with a really good fuel break. We are certainly not (going to) see fire move through that same area," he said.
Since the fire last year they have had a lot more local interest regarding risk assessment, Fremont said.
People with questions are encouraged to check out the government's website.
Reported by paNow's Nigel Maxwell.
Edited by News Talk Radio's Karin Yeske.