Saskatchewan activates provincial command for wildfire response; province currently has 28 active wildfires burning and there have been 169 wildfires so far this year, double the number normally seen

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REGINA, Saskatchewan , May 18, 2023 (press release) –

Today, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that provincial command has been activated through Saskatchewan Public Safety's Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC) to assist in response to wildfire across northern Saskatchewan. 

"The activation of the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre has been established to provide a central point to co-ordinate the operational response of provincial government ministries, agencies and Crown corporations," Correction, Policing and Public Safety Minister Christine Tell said. 

The PEOC has significant expertise and experience in coordinating and deploying emergency resources, and is closely connected to national and other provincial and territorial agencies to leverage support and resources when required. The PEOC also coordinates interagency resources within Saskatchewan through various ministries, agencies and crowns. 

There are currently 28 active wildfires burning in the province and there have been 169 wildfires so far this year, which is double the amount normally seen. Ground crews, heavy equipment, helicopters and air tankers are responding to in order to protect Saskatchewan communities, infrastructure and resources. Emergency Services Officers (ESOs) and Protection Officers (POs) are also assisting communities with their response and evacuation efforts.

The SPSA is ensuring food and fuel remains accessible to northern communities by escorting delivery trucks on roads and highways that are currently closed due to fire. 

"The SPSA is well positioned, through the establishment of the PEOC and its highly trained and dedicated staff, to respond to the wildfire situation, assist communities with their responses and help with emergency crisis support to evacuees," SPSA President and Fire Commissioner Marlo Pritchard said. 

The PEOC is led by representatives from the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency. Representatives will provide daily technical briefings to the media as the situation continues to evolve.

"I highly encourage all residents who are not under a fire ban to take extra precaution not to start fires," Tell said. "This includes not parking on dry grass, limiting the use of ATVs and being responsible with open fire."

The latest fire risk maps, fire ban map and up-to-date wildfire information at saskpublicsafety.ca/emergencies-and-response/wildfire-status. Saskatchewan residents seeking information about fire bans or evacuations are asked to call the wildfire inquiry line at 1-855-559-5502.

Established in 2017, the SPSA is a Treasury Board Crown Corporation responsible for emergency management, Sask911, SaskAlert, the Civic Addressing Registry, wildfire management and fire safety.

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