Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned. (Brittney Matejka/Twitter)

Out-of-control Saskatchewan wildfire triggers state of emergency, evacuation

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown

Dozens of patients have been moved out of a hospital in Biggar, Sask., because of smoke from a nearby wildfire that has covered a wide area but is moving away from the community thanks to a change in wind direction.

Authorities have transferred 53 long-term care residents to the health centre in Rosetown, while another eight patients have been sent to City Hospital in Saskatoon.

The move follows a state of emergency that was declared early Tuesday by the town and the Rural Municipality of Biggar after the blaze got rolling in an area six to eight kilometres southwest of the town.

The fire was declared out of control Monday afternoon and officials evacuated a wide area as a precaution, with shelter space provided at the Biggar Community Hall and the recreation complex in the village of Purdue.

Jeanne-Marie de Moissac, reeve of the rural municipality, says there have been no injuries and no buildings have burned.

She says the change in wind to the northwest is pushing the blaze away from populated areas.

“We’re exhausted,” said Biggar fire chief Gerry Besse, after spending more than 20 hours battling flames that officials say have burned about 100 square km so far.

“This is going to take days to put out.”

The fire was still listed as out of control Tuesday morning and people were being told to be ready to leave their homes if instructed.

Firefighters from four outside communities are helping Biggar and area emergency personnel. The provincial emergency response team is also on scene with staff and equipment.

Farmers in the affected area have been using their machinery to create fire breaks to stop the advancing flames.

De Moissac said water bombers are expected to attack the blaze, but she fears that a number of rural properties still face a fire threat.

“Emotions are high,” she said. “We’re not used to this. We’re tinder dry … that old grass just burns like gasoline.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Weekly Mountain Minute

This week’s top news stories:… Continue reading

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Teepee raising ceremony invites Invermere Chief to Metis Nation Columbia River Society

Some people might notice a new teepee standing tall outside of the… Continue reading

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

Community helps Golden’s Fall Faire success

By Colleen Palumbo Well folks it looks as if everything is falling… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Environment groups warned saying climate change is real could be seen as partisan

Talk of climate change could be viewed as advocating against Maxime Bernier, the leader of the People’s Party of Canada

Search crews find 4-year-old boy who went missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okanagan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read