Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Northern Saskatchewan City Feeling the Strain from Wildfire Evacuees

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Northern Saskatchewan City Feeling the Strain from Wildfire Evacuees

Article excerpt

Fire evacuees putting strain on city

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PRINCE ALBERT, Sask. - The northern Saskatchewan city of Prince Albert is feeling the strain of putting up wildfire evacuees.

Officials say about 2,800 people have fled forest fires and more than two-thirds of them are staying in Prince Albert, while just over 800 are in Saskatoon.

Deanna Valentine, provincial co-ordinator for Emergency Social Services, says Prince Albert is at capacity.

Valentine says people might be congregating there because they think it will soon be time to head home.

She also suggests it could be that evacuees from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation may have more friends and family in Prince Albert.

She's hoping some might consider moving to Saskatoon hotels to even out the burden.

"It does put stress on the health-care system (in Prince Albert) and the hotels, which have to increase everything from laundry to meals and other services," she said.

Saskatoon is "a little less crowded and ... would have more breathing room. …

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