LATEST UPDATE: As of 1:15 pm CST (Saskatchewan local) on Wednesday, May 10, 2023:
On May 9, 2023, the Buffalo River Dene Nation and the Meadow Lake Tribal Council, with support from the Canadian Red Cross, have evacuated approximately 200 members to nearby Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, as a result of excessive smoke and the threat that the “SHAW” wildfire poses to the community’s main access road.
The community has set up "fresh-air” shelters (gymnasium, arena, community hall) for residents who remain in community. The on-reserve school is temporarily closed to assist with accommodating air shelter set-up.
The “Vermette” wildfire remains active but is a safe distance from the community.
Individuals who have been affected by wildfire or who have been evacuated are encouraged to contact their respective First Nation community health department directly for health services. Individuals can also access health services through provincial health care systems or access virtual supports such as 24/7 mental health support through the Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 or through online chat at hopeforwellness.ca.
Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) eligibility remains the same in the event of an evacuation. In Saskatchewan please call 1-866-885-3933 for all eligible benefits.
ISC officials in Saskatchewan remain in contact with First Nations leadership as each provincial situation evolves to ensure an effective response.