Wildfires Cause 13,000 to Evacuate Saskatchewan Homes

The Saskatchewan Environment Ministry reported July 6 that there have been 574 wildfires during this fire season -- more than twice as many as the 205 at the same point last year.

About 500 members of Canada's armed forces are helping with the evacuation of 13,000 people from their homes in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, as they province is fighting major wildfires. It is the biggest evacuation effort in Saskatchewan's history, Premier Brad Wall said.

"This particular fire event is different for our province just because of the amount of hectares that are currently burning, which is, by the way, about 10 times the average year," Wall told reporters July 6, according to a CBC News report.

The Saskatchewan Environment Ministry reported there were 112 active fires in the province as of July 6.

The ministry is recommending against non-essential travel because roads are closed in several areas, including La Ronge, La Loche, and Pinehouse. Its latest update, dated July 6, said 51 communities were under full or partial evacuation due to wildfire threat or smoke as of that date, and that, so far in this fire season, there have been 574 wildfires -- more than twice as many as the 205 at the same point last year.

A fire ban has been issued until further notice.

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