Saskatchewan to get military help battling fires in northern part of province

A massive plume of smoke rises from a wildfire in the LaRonge, Sask., area in this July 1, 2015 handout photo from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment - Wildfire Branch

REGINA - Close to 1,000 military personnel are on their way to help fight wildfires in Saskatchewan.

Duane McKay, commissioner of emergency management with the province, says some of the military are expected to begin deploying as early as Sunday.

Others may take longer to arrive, as McKay notes that being a soldier is different from being a firefighter, so additional training may be required.

Provincial officials say the amount of land that's burning in Saskatchewan this year is around 10 times what's normal.

Steve Roberts with the wildfire management branch of the environment ministry says over the last five years, 30,000 hectares burn annually in high-priority zones.

He says 300,000 hecatres are burning in those zones this year.

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