Wildfire near Prince Albert, Sask., now contained, some people allowed back home Thursday

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The Cloverdale Fire left a swath of blackened trees in the forest northeast of Prince Albert. (Dan Zakreski/CBC - image credit)
The Cloverdale Fire left a swath of blackened trees in the forest northeast of Prince Albert. (Dan Zakreski/CBC - image credit)

Officials say the Cloverdale fire near Prince Albert, Sask., about 135 kilometres northeast of Saskatoon, is contained and some people forced from their homes can begin returning to their properties late Thursday.

"It is not extinguished, it's just not growing," said Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA) operations vice president Steve Roberts in a call with media Thursday.

People from the RM of Buckland will be allowed back home after 5 p.m. CST Thursday — the same time Highway 55 is set to reopen — but those from the RM of Garden River, just to the east, are not yet allowed to return. That's the direction the wind had been moving the fire.

This photo from Wednesday shows smoke from the Cloverdale fire billowing across a grid road northeast of Prince Albert.
This photo from Wednesday shows smoke from the Cloverdale fire billowing across a grid road northeast of Prince Albert.(Submitted by Marg Yungworth)

Aggressive firefighting, and downward turns in temperatures and wind speed, contributed to getting the blaze under control, he said.

There are still no reports of injuries or loss of property, but Roberts said that may change in the coming days as crews on the ground do a detailed inventory of structures inside the fire zone.

Crews will continue to do surveys from the air and ground to locate hotspots and deal with any flare-ups.

SaskPower workers are still trying to restore electricity to parts of the north affected when the fire downed power lines. Workers have been able to get to the damaged equipment, but the boggy forest has slowed work because machines keep getting stuck.

As of Thursday, 59 people from the RMs of Buckland and Garden River have registered for help after getting moved out of the forest. Forty of those people were billeted in a local hotel, while 19 found accommodation with family and friends.