As rain pours over Saskatchewan, some crop farmers say it’s a little too late.
In Shellbrook, about 130 kilometers north of Saskatoon, Kerry Peterson runs a 6,000 acre operation. He said the 30-degree heat along with gusting winds thinned out what he planted this year.
Ramona Ross was already hard at work at the local gas station on the Montreal Lake Cree Nation Thursday morning as more than 1,000 people returned to the community after nearly three weeks of evacuation around the province.
“I was shocked to see how many trees are gone and how many people were gone and how quiet it was, it was like a ghost town,” Ross, who arrived late Wednesday night, said. “Getting back to work and adjusting, seeing everybody come back today is really nice, really nice.”
Flora Kraus sat in the little community office in Weyakwin Tuesday afternoon organizing how to get returning residents water and access to a landfill.
Sitting on a bench just outside the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre evacuation shelter in Saskatoon, Felix Herman watches as a handful of residents from Pinehouse jump on a coach bus heading back home.
A light shower is restoring faith for cabin owners in Nemeiben Lake who say the worst is behind them.
“It's getting better … mostly everything is burnt so there's not much left,” said Bill Elliot, one of three remaining residents who decided to stick around, while the majority of residents left.
Evacuees staying in Saskatoon were treated to a carnival at Praireland Park on Thursday.
The free event featured bouncy castles, face-painters, balloon animals and plenty of popcorn, ice cream and pop. The kids also got a chance to meet three Disney princesses.
Lillian Apesis said she and her two children have been out of their home for two weeks.
"When the first smoke hit town, my son has health issues and we had to get him out of there, just for his safety," she said.
As wildfires continue to burn in northern Saskatchewan over 12,000 people have been forced from their homes.
With 7,000 people registered with social services, Saskatoon has already taken in more than 2,000 evacuees in with the majority staying at the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre. Others are staying at the Travelodge near Circle Drive and the Thriftlodge on Idylwyld Drive.
Mona Bell didn’t have time to think about where she would end up as she quickly packed her belongings in La Ronge while a giant fire encroached on her community.
“I was pretty shocked at first. I wasn’t really expecting it, but I had gone out that morning and the smoke was real heavy, but I really wasn’t expecting them to pull us all out of there,” she said of Saturday’s evacuation order.
A Saskatchewan woman's first wedding anniversary will be a much drier affair than her wedding was.
In the midst of the devastating flooding in the southeast last year, Kelsey Reynolds tied the knot on her farm near Gainsborough on July 5.
"We were pretty fortunate on the farm. We just had water laying around the yard," said Reynolds. "It was just kind of hard with the community going through what they were going through. Trying to help out in town and trying to plan a wedding was pretty hard."
There has been a lot of discussion online following a post in an evacuation group about a "let it burn" policy but Daryl Jessop with the Ministry of Environment said it is misunderstood.
"There is no such policy," he said. "Our policy that we do have is that we have zones and all fires are assessed and looked at the proximity to people and property is carefully considered and then the appropriate response is determined depending on location, circumstances, conditions, and available equipment."