Firefighters battle brush fire near Cranberry Flats

A large brush fire south-west of Saskatoon along Strathcona Avenue was brought under control late into the evening on  Tuesday, April 16.

Saskatoon Fire Department Assistant Chief Wayne Rodger said firefighters were able to declare the fire under control at about 8:50 p.m.

The stubborn fire burned for almost seven hours in an area of dry prairie grass and clumps of trees and brush.

The fire began at about 2:00 p.m. on April 16. Rodger said the Saskatoon Fire Departmentn received a 911 call reporting trees on fire in a yard near Riverside Estates, a rural neighbourhood in the RM of Corman Park adjacent to Strathcona Avenue.

The fire continued to burn past the yeard in Riverside Estates and south towards the Cranberry Flats Conservation Area.

Fire crews initiated defensive attacks in several areas, protecting homes and livestock from the rapidly-spreading blaze. Water tankers shuttled water to the site, while fire engines and brush trucks were used to battle the fire as it raced across the rough terrain, fanned by strong winds.

A rehabilitation unit from the Saskatoon Fire Department was deployed to the fire scene to aid in fire crew relief. A safety offiicer was also on scene to monitor fire crew safety and procedure.

The Corman Park Police Service responded and assisted with facilitation of traffic flow through the area.

“In total, seven fire engines, three brush trucks, two water tankers, and several support vehicles were committed to this incident throughout its duration,” said Rodger.

The Government of Saskatchewan provided support through the Ministry of Environment Wildfire Management Branch, initiating an air attack on the fire using a water bomber aircraft.

Additionally, the Meewasin Valley Authority had personnel on scene into the early hours of April 17, 2019 assisting with firefighting efforts and monitoring the Cranberry Flats Conservation Area.

Rodger said changing winds and dry conditions challenged the efforts of firefighters.

“However, fire crews effectively contained the fire and stopped it from spreading to nearby homes, outbuildings, and livestock yards,” he said.

There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident.

“The Saskatoon Fire Department would like to thank members of the public for their accommodation of road closures in the area, as well as our partner agencies who assisted with scene safety and firefighting efforts,” said Rodger

The Saskatoon Fire Department will not be conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire, as the area falls outside of its investigative jurisdiction. A damage estimate will also not be provided.