Instead of an unofficial kick-off to summer, the May long weekend was a devastating time for families who saw decades of memories go up in smoke.
Thirteen cabins in a subdivision on Flotten Lake, located inside Meadow Lake Provincial Park, were destroyed by a wildfire.
It was heartbreaking news for Andrea McDonald, who spent many summers with her family at the cabin.
“It was definitely heartbreaking,” she told Saskatchewan Afternoon.
“The original structure was something that my grandpa built, and he’s been gone for 30 years. That kind of thing is impossible to replace.”
She said the cabin has been passed down through the family, and since she’s had kids it has acted as a summer home for her and her mother.
“When you’re at Flotten, there’s no cell phones, no wifi … it’s just you and the other 13 people at the cabins,” she said.
“We spent all of our spare time there.”
McDonald said even though they have insurance for the cabin, it can never replace the sentimental value of what was lost.
Among the items she believes may be gone is her grandmother’s log book, which was signed by everyone who visited the cabin.
“It had 46 years of memories of everything anybody ever did there, and it’s gone.”
The blaze — known as the Tuff fire — is the same one that forced the evacuation of over 700 residents from Waterhen Lake First Nation last week.
The burned out cabins were captured by Meadow Lake resident Joe Villeneuve in a video posted on Facebook.
Posted by B Joe Villeneuve on Monday, May 21, 2018
Rabbit Creek fire in PANP grows in size
Parks Canada is using all available resources to fight the Rabbit Creek wildfire burning in the southern edge of Prince Albert National Park.
The fire grew 7,000 hectares over the weekend to approximately 24,000 hectares in size, according to the Waskesiu and Area Wilderness Region Facebook page.
The use of the boat launch and trails on Sandy Lake are closed, including the area north of Sturgeon Crossing Warden Station to the Lofthouse Trail.
The park closed all backcountry trails and campgrounds Monday evening.
As of midnight, the following areas will be closed:
- Hwy 263 from Narrows Road South to Cookson Road/Hwy 240, including all trails and campsites between the Freight trail and east boundary of Prince Albert National Park. During the closure, visitors must use Highway 264 (via Highway 2) to access Prince Albert National Park and the Town of Waskesiu Lake.
- All areas west of the Highway 263 turnoff including Narrows Road, day use areas, trails and campground.
At this point, just smoke is the issue for the townsite of Waskesiu.