Canadian Underwriter

Saskatchewan seeks feedback on provincial response to 2015 wildfire season

October 19, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter

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Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Government Relations announced on Monday the launch of an online tool to seek public feedback on the provincial response to the 2015 wildfire season in northern Saskatchewan.

The deadline for written submissions and online survey completion is Dec. 15. Photo: Government of Saskatchewan.

“This summer, northern Saskatchewan people faced an unprecedented emergency situation,” said Jim Reiter, Minister of Government Relations, in a press release. “Thankfully, we had no serious injuries or lives lost and were able to limit property damage throughout the north. Now, it’s important for us to listen to those most affected and see if we can make improvements,” Reiter said.

The Canadian Press reported on July 24 that in late June and early July, about 13,000 people from 50 communities in Saskatchewan had to flee their homes. The Saskatchewan government added that “the wildfires of 2015 in northern Saskatchewan resulted in the largest emergency response and evacuation in the province’s history.”

As part of its commitment to conduct a comprehensive review of the wildfire response, the province has launched an online and written submission option along with a northern consultation process, Reiter explained. The review will be based on three main factors, including an internal operations review; meeting with northern leaders, northern emergency management teams and industry; and an online survey for the public.

Beginning Monday, Saskatchewan residents can access the survey online at Hard copies of the survey will be made available at all northern municipal and band offices as well as the Northern Municipal Services Office in La Ronge, the ministry said. Written submissions and letters will also be accepted and can be addressed to: Emergency Management and Fire Safety (EMFS), Room 500, 1855 Victoria Avenue, Regina, SK, S7K 2H6.

The survey consists of 10 questions and is expected to take between five and 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for written submissions and online survey completion is Dec. 15.

Reiter added in the release that he wanted to thank “everyone in the province, across all provinces and the U.S. who played a key role in the operations and to evacuees for their patience during this wildfire season.”

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