The Egg fire has merged with the Eli fire making it 950 square kilometres or five and a half times the size of Saskatoon.
The fire, which will be known as the Egg fire, is within two kilometres of La Ronge.
There are 119 active fires on Friday, which is one more than Thursday. The province has seen 604 fires this year compared with the 220 we had last year at this time. Most of the other fires have not changed in size.
Firefighters are focused on Pinehouse as they work to secure a fire within two kilometres of the village. The fire is currently a direct threat to the community.
Weather is expected to be dry with lower humidity over the weekend. The province is expecting to see continued flare ups as they work to control the flames that have already hit 62 structures this fire season, seven of which on the Montreal Lake Cree Nation.
There have been 12 cabins or homes lost since the fires started.
Emergency management is strongly discouraging people from going into the fire zone to protect their property, adding it not only puts themselves at risk but others.
“It is certainly our intention and priority to return people to their communities (when it is safe),” Duane McKay with government relations said.
The province is working closely with leaders, who are feeling a lot of pressure from their residents to return home. Wildlife management is supporting leaders and communities with information about when evacuees might be able to go home.
Leaders Pressured to Return Home
According to the provincial government, band leaders and councillors are feeling pressure to go back home, but Duane McKay with the province doesn’t recommend people go home because the raging wildfire situation isn’t quite under control.
“Some local leaders are feeling tremendous pressure to bring people back into some areas, which wildfire mangement has determined is not safe,” McKay said. “What we’re talking about is stuff, buildings can be replaced, forests will re-grow, property can be replaced, but lives can’t.”
McKay says he has no idea when people will be able to go home.
It’s a grueling schedule for provincial firefighters who are working 12 days straight before two mandatory rest days.
Within a week or so, Ontario crews will be heading home for a rest. They will be back-filled by other out-of-province firefighters.
How many firefighters are up there right now?
380- northern First Nations
360- Canadian military
210- Saskatchewan government
260- Type 3 (fire line/low risk)
90- out of province
The province has guidelines to determine which fires to fight first. They include public safety of a community or individuals, followed by threat to public infrastructure. All of the fire resources are currently fighting fires that fall into those categories.
The Lac La Ronge provincial park is closed and will not reopen for the rest of the season. The rest of Saskatchewan’s provincial parks are open and fully operational.
The province is offering free camping for evacuees. They have been instructed to talk to social services and the Red Cross.
Follow on Twitter: @CKOMNews