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Fire forces 13 from home in Saskatchewan


Fire spotted by Weather Network viewer Janice Belak south of Dafoe on Monday (courtesy: Janice Dafoe)
Fire spotted by Weather Network viewer Janice Belak south of Dafoe on Monday (courtesy: Janice Dafoe)

The Canadian Press

May 7, 2013 — More than a dozen people have been forced from their homes on a northwestern Saskatchewan reserve because of a grass fire. Emergency officials said Tuesday that 13 people have been evacuated from the Onion Lake Cree Nation, north of Lloydminster. They've been taken to a hotel in Lloydminster, said Deanna Wysoskey, emergency Social Services co-ordinator.

"Those are children and people with health risks who need to move out because of the fire risk (Monday)," said Wysoskey.

"As soon as they're told that the risk is gone, they'll be able to return home."

Onion Lake was already under a state of emergency due to flooding.

Deputy emergency management commissioner Colin King says crews that were fighting flooding were diverted to help local residents battle the fire. King says it was "fairly significant in size."

The Ministry of Environment says fire hazards across Saskatchewan are up.

"Anywhere north, (the) northern half, is in moderate conditions and everything in the southern half of the province is currently in high hazard conditions for wildfire," said Steve Roberts, executive director of the province's wildfire management program.

"What that's resulting in is a large number of grass fire occurrences in the last week or so."

Crews battled a grass fire near Grand Coulee, just west of Regina, on Monday.

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