The Ministry of Agriculture is nearly doubling its estimate of the number of animals that died as a result of two wildfires that burned this week in the province’s southwest.
Late Thursday afternoon, the ministry updated the figure to an estimated 750 dead cattle, either directly as a result of the fires or that had to be euthanized after. That was a sharp jump from the 400 figure from one day earlier.
However, representatives from the ministry stressed they couldn’t confirm an exact number.
The province put the size of the fire near Burstall at 30,000 hectares and one by Tompkins at 4,000 hectares.
Over the last 24 hours, reps have followed up with producers and vets to get a better idea of the extent of animal deaths.
A small number of other animals died in the blazes too, including mule deer, antelope and game birds.
This comes as investigators continue to assess the number of buildings that were lost in the fires. No cause has been identified as investigators in Saskatchewan work with their counterparts in Alberta.
Power restoration continues
SaskPower made significant progress in the last day getting the lights back on to hundreds of customers after powerful wind knocked electricity out.
A total of around 60 customers remained in the dark as of Friday morning, down from 600 customers on Thursday. The crown’s Jordan Jackle said their goal was to have power back to the remaining customers by the end of the day, most of which were scattered in the Kamsack, Canora, Sturgis and Madge Lake areas.
Heavy tree-related damage to infrastructure was reported in that area.
Jackle said crews have wound down the restoration phase and will now move into repair and maintenance. In some instances, power had to be rerouted.
Jackle said permanent fixes will be made and workers will make closer inspections to infrastructure that wasn’t obviously damaged during the storm.