Thousands of Hectares Burned, Hundreds Fighting Flames

Thousands of Hectares Burned, Hundreds Fighting Flames

3 July 2008

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Saskatchewan, Canada — The damage from forest fires so far this year in northern Saskatchewan is startling.

494,000 hectares consumed by fire- that’s about the size of 28 Saskatoons, or nearly 42 Reginas, or 76 Prince Alberts.

The largest and most difficult fire so far is the fire near Pelican Narrows- a blaze 35 kilometres by 25 kilometres.

65 fires were burning in the province as of Thursday morning.

Crews were preparing for some stormy weather at that time- while rain will help them, the accompanying winds can cause problems, and of course, lightning strikes could be devestating.

So far the northern communities are being threatened by smoke, but not the flames themselves.

The amount of people evacuated remains mostly unchanged from Wednesday, at about two-thousand, though officials expect to evacuate up to 160 more people from Sandy Bay.

Officials say the challenge is to keep evacuees in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Regina occupied, so they are planning both kids activities and grown-up activities.

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