SaskEnergy to look into cause of natural gas fire near Meadow Lake, Sask.

SaskEnergy to look into cause of natural gas fire near Meadow Lake, Sask.

A fire that caused traffic delays near the Meadow Lake Mechanical Pulp Mill has been put out and highways that were previously closed have now been reopened. 

The RCMP, fire crews and emergency medical services attended the scene of the fire near Highways 55 and 903, about 250 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon, late Friday afternoon.

Vanessa Gooliaff-Beaupre, supervisor of media and government relations with SaskEnergy, said preliminary reports suggest the fire originated with a line heater, a piece of equipment used to regulate the temperature of the natural gas entering the building,

Natural gas to the mill has been completely shut off, and SaskEnergy would soon begin an investigation, alongside the fire department, to identify the cause of the fire, she said. 

Truck driver Calvin Nyhus was turned away from the mill when he was en route to pick up a load of lumber at about 5 p.m. CST.

He said he was told the site had been evacuated and was unlikely to re-open until Monday.

Nyhus thought the smoke he was seeing was from wildfires until he reached the road closure.

"It was more of a smell than anything," said Nyhus.  

"When I got back to the highway it looked blacker … you could see it was more originating in that location."