Additional RCMP officers, curfew in Pelican Narrows after 1,000 people didn’t evacuate from homes

Additional RCMP officers, curfew in Pelican Narrows after 1,000 people didn’t evacuate from homes

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The chief of Peter Ballantyne First Nation, which includes Pelican Narrows, has issued a strict curfew and asked for more an increased police presence in the wake of an evacuation order and increased smoke from wildfires in the area.

A general evacuation order was issued for the community of Pelican Narrows after concerns of wildfires in the area on Tuesday. Still, about 1,000 chose not to leave the community, according to Saskatchewan Social Services. Four more RCMP officers are not working in the community and a curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. has been imposed to help fulfill duties of child and family services workers who have evacuated from their homes.

“We were getting reports that there were some young individuals still in the community,” Chief Peter Beatty said. “We had to put in that curfew, and an order as well for the RCMP to act on behalf of family and child services, because all those individuals have already been evacuated.”

There are about 1,500 evacuees at a shelter in Saskatoon and hotels in Prince Albert from Pelican Narrows and Birch Portage, according to the province.

The Red Cross is planning to accommodate the hundreds of individuals staying at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in Saskatoon into the weekend.

“The fires around that area have been burning for about two weeks and the wind shifts so we plan out for at least over the weekend,” Cindy Fuchs, Saskatchewan’s Red Cross director, said.

Jan Lake, Birch Portage and Sandy Bay have also declared a state of emergency due to smoke concerns from the wildfires.

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