Sask. firefighters return home from fighting B.C. wildfires

By JT Marshall/CKOM News Staff
July 28, 2017 - 10:07am

With wildfires starting to die down in British Columbia, firefighters from Saskatchewan are coming home.

A group of 36 forest firefighters arrived at Saskatoon’s John Diefenbaker International Airport Thursday morning after battling the blazes for nearly three weeks.

“Just knowing that we went over there to help … is a good experience,” said 10-year veteran Richard Powder, who lives near La Ronge.

British Columbia has been plagued by forest fires for about a month, forcing about 46,000 people from their homes.

Forest protection officer Bud Sabean of Cypress Hills said the terrain in B.C.’s central interior made for challenging work.

“The slopes and mountains make it a little tougher on us than Saskatchewan.”

Sabean said working in the summer heat wasn’t much fun, either.

“I don’t know if you can stay cool, you just drink a lot of water,” he joked.

“Looking at the temperatures we had in Saskatchewan while we were gone, it wasn’t a whole lot different. Probably cooler in BC.”

Sabean also served on a team sent to Fort McMurray last year, when the Alberta city saw some 2,400 homes and structures destroyed.

He said the situation in B.C. was quite a bit different .

“Probably not as big of an urban development, more scattered homes in B.C. because it hasn’t hit a major city.”

Sabean said his crew was assigned to fight a fire about an hour-and-a-half from Kamloops.

Over 50 firefighters, support staff and other personnel from Saskatchewan are still in B.C. actively fighting fires.

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