Winds pushing north brought clouds of smoke into Saskatoon from CFAD Dundurn over the weekend.
The fires were set on their firing ranges during a training exercise. Initial reports suggested it was a controlled burn.
Gusting winds brought thick smoke to some neighbourhoods in central and western Saskatoon, with some residents saying they had difficulty getting to sleep due to the strong smell.
The smoke was the least of the concerns for residents in the area who described a tense night.
Folks this is the aftermath of a grass fire NOT a controlled burn. After an extremely long night of waiting it is not right near the hamlet. Thankful for @SaskatoonFire but shocked to hear more booms of training while the fire is still there. #yxe #grassfire pic.twitter.com/YjeQfK1L8R
— Elise Ruiters (@Ellyznavida) April 29, 2018
The Saskatoon fire department was called out to assist at around 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
“We were called to help protect the homes in the Beaver Creek area that were impacted by the grass fire,” said Brent Hart, Saskatoon fire department battalion chief. “We sent out two brush fire trucks and two tankers units to assist with that fire.
Saskatoon police reaffirmed shortly before 12:30 a.m. Sunday the smoke was emanating from the fire.
“Residents of Saskatoon and surrounding areas may experience large amounts of smoke while the controlled fires burn,” the statement read.
An Environment Canada special air quality statement was isued for several hours early Sunday.
The statement read “individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.”
A shift in the wind helped clear the smoke enough to end the statement just after 9:30 a.m.