By Glenn Hicks
The fire ban at the Prince Albert National Park will be lifted Friday, June 1.
Parks officials said the recent rain, cooler weather and the efforts of fire crews have led to the re-opening of the areas that were previously closed due to the Rabbit Creek wildfire.
The incident commander of the blaze said while the fire was now measured at 36,600 hectares things are stable.
“Our current status with the fire is ‘being held’ which means that with the resources we have and the weather forecast we can see, we don’t expect the fire to grow any further,” Jed Cochrane told reporters Thursday. Cochrane added the fire had not grown since May 21.
The fire was not yet fully contained and Cochrane said crews were busy keeping an eye on several elements.
“They’re patrolling the perimeter for hotspots and extinguishing anything that may be remaining, we’re doing infrared scanning from helicopters for hotspots and monitoring all places of the fire,” he said.
The wildfire situation had improved to the point where nearly all closed-off areas could re-open, according to the park’s superintendent.
“We’re also going to be opening the Narrows Road day use areas and the trails and camp ground off that road, June 1,” David Britton said.
The wildfire which sparked in early May happened after control lines being burnt for a planned controlled burn got away from crews when higher than forecast winds got up followed by unusually prolonged dry and windy weather, according to Britton.
The blaze got to within 20 kilometres of Waskesiu and sprinkler protection units were temporarily deployed last week but the townsite remained open throughout.