Wildfire leads to state of emergency in Stanley Mission, Sask.

·2 min read
Stanley Mission, Sask. is currently under a state of emergency. Pictured is the Stanley Mission Anglican Church, which is a provincial historic site.  (Elizabeth Elich - image credit)
Stanley Mission, Sask. is currently under a state of emergency. Pictured is the Stanley Mission Anglican Church, which is a provincial historic site. (Elizabeth Elich - image credit)

A state of emergency has been declared in Stanley Mission, Sask., about 80 kilometres northeast of La Ronge, due to power outages and water supply issues stemming from a wildfire burning near Prince Albert.

A public notice issued by Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson cited a prolonged power outage, a "severe water availability issue' and the sewer system backing up.

The power outage comes while the local water treatment plant is in the process of switching to a new system, according to the notice.

"We were just in the middle of transitioning from an old water system to a new water system, and then the power went out," Cook-Searson said in an interview Wednesday.

"So now they're working on getting a generator that's big enough to be able to bring in the fresh water intake into the community and making sure that we have enough power to treat the water and then get it out safely to the community members and also making sure that we have two generators for the sewage pumping stations."

As of Tuesday, about 9,000 customers stretching from just north of Prince Albert up to the La Ronge area have lost power due to the wildfire northeast of Prince Albert.

Cook-Searson said the communities of Little Red River, Hall Lake, La Ronge, Sucker River, Grandmother's Bay and Stanley Mission are all affected.

"We do have a lot of people that do help out, we have a lot of experienced people that work for the band and have been there for many years," she said.

"We just do what we can to help our community members."

SaskPower spokesperson Joel Cherry said power will likely be out for at least a day, if not longer, as crews work to repair power lines damaged by the fire.

There are also 90 households in Stanley Mission — which has a population of about 2,000 people — that are currently isolating due to COVID-19, according to the notice.

More information will be provided as it becomes available. Residents can also call 306-425-8144 for more information.