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Evacuees start returning home to Wollaston Lake, SK


Smoke billowed from a massive wildfire in northern Saskatchewan last week
Smoke billowed from a massive wildfire in northern Saskatchewan last week

Lyndsay Morrison, staff writer

June 7, 2011 — A massive wildfire is no longer directly threatening Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan. Evacuees could start returning home Tuesday.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes

People who were evacuated from their homes in Wollaston Lake, Saskatchewan due to a wildfire will be able to to their homes on Tuesday.

Last week, billowing smoke and fast-moving flames forced about 1,200 people to pack their bags are move to emergency shelters. Many had to be airlifted out.

At one point, the fire covered 4,400 hectares of land. Crews in the area say the direct threat of fire to Wollaston Lake has been cut back significantly.

Investigators are currently on the scene determining the cause of the fire. Steve Roberts is the executive director of wildfire management for Saskatchewan. He says at this point, “the fire looks to be man-made.”

Forest fires are a common occurrence in the spring. Often times, the vegetation is extremely dry, but the ground remains frozen. “Depending on the weather conditions, large fires can spark and spread quickly in the Boreal forest,” asserts Roberts.

Wollaston Lake and Hatchet Lake First Nation are located about 840 km north of Saskatoon and are only accessible by air.

With files from Jill Colton

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