By Tyler Marr
Brenda Rombough sat in front of her cousins home in Holbein Saturday evening as thick black and grey smoke plumed into the sky above the trees a few kilometres to the south.
Helicopters and planes circled above. Fire trucks and emergency crews blocked off a section of road just a few blocks away.
Rombough lives ten miles north of the Holbein, a small village approximately 30 kilometres west of Prince Albert, and saw smoke start to bellow into the air at around 5 p.m.
“I waited for a while and it was getting worse and worse so I figured I better come up and check on my cousin [in Holbein] and see how she was doing,” she told paNOW. “We are just sitting here watching and hoping it is under control.”
— Tyler Marr (@JournoMarr) May 13, 2018
Information was scarce on the blaze Saturday evening due to the number of services involved.
Buckland Fire and Rescue, the Shellbrook fire department and provincial crews are on the ground battling the fire. Aerial support was also called in to assist. A spokesperson for Saskatchewan Environment told paNOW crews will be forced to work throughout the night using heavy equipment to help contain the fire.
Rombough said this was not her first experience with fire in the area.
“It brings back a lot of memories from the other fire that went through here [in the early-2000s] and how crazy it was,” she said. “We don’t want anything happening to this little town.”
Resident Lonney MacDonald said an ATV and quad rally was going on south of the village. He said aerial crews appeared to be hampered from dropping suppression as they had to wait for riders to leave the area.
Countless trucks could be seen in empty lots and alongside roads loading off-road vehicles onto trailers as people left. Others gathered at a gas station across the highway making phone calls and attempting to catch up and locate colleagues who were out riding in the area.
The immediate cause of the fire is not yet known, but conditions were hot and windy all day.