Briggs wildfire spares Cigar Lake mine in northern Sask. but continues to burn | CBC News

The Briggs fire shut to the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan continues to burn, but or now no longer it’s now moved past the necessary camp “without excessive influence to the positioning,” in step with Cameco, which runs the flexibility.

As Cameco and Saskatchewan Public Security Company crews wait on fight the Briggs fire, the SPSA acknowledged or now no longer it’s monitoring one other blaze north of the mine, which — as of Friday morning — didn’t pose a appropriate away possibility. (Submitted by Robin Clarke)

The Briggs fire shut to the Cigar Lake uranium mine in northern Saskatchewan continues to burn, but or now no longer it’s now moved past the necessary camp “without excessive influence to the positioning,” in step with Cameco, which runs the flexibility.

Early inspection reveals no structural rupture to any constructions, and all assets seem intact, company spokesperson Jeff Hryhoriw instructed CBC Files Friday afternoon.

He acknowledged all 80 of the mine’s necessary staff who remained on build are excellent and have helped wildfire crews place out hot spots. Cameco’s crew and the provincial wildfire team from the Saskatchewan Public Security Company (SPSA) in the intervening time remain on scene.

Hryhoriw acknowledged the fire remains to be curious, with some roads in the neighborhood closed this potential that of smoke and flames nearby.

“Forest fires are dynamic, and stipulations can the truth is change suddenly, so we’re continuing to video show the problem very carefully,” he acknowledged. 

With weather prerequisites forecast to quit hot and dry in the north Friday before easing up by the weekend, Hryhoriw emphasized the precedence is to retain the mine build free of hot spots leftover from the blaze.

“It is additionally a topic of the smoke and wind patterns that can maybe maybe the truth is shift,” he acknowledged. “The wind can change path and can change the depth [of the fire], so we know there remains to be more to construct.”

Smoke from the Briggs wildfire may maybe well maybe per chance very nicely be seen billowing from atop a hill roughly two kilometres a long way off from Cameco’s Cigar Lake uranium mine on Thursday. (Submitted by Robin Clarke)


Hryhoriw well-liked there’s in the intervening time no timeline as to when Cameco’s roughly 230 staff evacuated from Cigar Lake will return or when manufacturing will resume.

He acknowledged a restart resolution will rely upon the house of wildfire process in the convey, smoke prerequisites and excellent avenue and air get entry to to the positioning.

Final mine staff form emergency response team

The roughly 80 Cameco staff who remain on the mine have been working as an emergency response team, Hryhoriw acknowledged.


Their job is to place foremost machinery and retain the flexibility in a win convey — including repeatedly watering the positioning grounds and clearing any surrounding bush as a precaution, he outlined. And may maybe well maybe per chance quiet the wildfire possibility proceed to grow, Hryhoriw well-liked, there may maybe be a plan in build to retain the staff there excellent.

“[The SPSA] officers have assessed varied areas and facilities on build and told us accordingly,” he acknowledged. “They mediate staff will also be stored excellent, in step with the make and construction of the constructions, the positioning layout and the holding measures already being undertaken.”

Water bombers and heavy equipment have additionally been deployed to the convey and proceed to wait on with the firefighting efforts, Hryhoriw acknowledged.

‘Pack a get’

Dan Stillborn became once the truth is one of many roughly 230 mine staff who got a name Thursday that he had to go the Cigar Lake build

“They factual phoned us and acknowledged, ‘Pack a get,” Stillborn acknowledged of the name that woke him up from a nap that morning.

When Stillborn got up and looked out his window, he saw flames cresting the hills factual a few kilometres from the staff’s camp.

It didn’t exhaust lengthy before he and his colleagues have been en route to security at Cameco’s Rabbit Lake mine, roughly an hour and a half east of Cigar Lake.

“The sky is nice and blue attempting south [from Rabbit Lake] — but when I behold north, or now no longer it’s dusky,” Stillborn acknowledged gradual Thursday afternoon when a few fires have been burning in the build. 

“It is relatively a contrast; it appears to be like take care of a sad cloudy day in the north.” 

Cameco transported 230 of its non-necessary staff on the Cigar Lake mine to security Thursday morning this potential that of the specter of a nearby wildfire. (Submitted by Robin Clarke)


‘Overwhelming majority’ of Sask. below low wildfire possibility: SPSA

In accordance to the SPSA, as of Friday afternoon, there have been 16 wildfires burning proper by Saskatchewan — four of which had but to be contained.

In an emailed deliver to CBC Files, the SPSA acknowledged the Briggs fire, which is found shut to the Cigar Lake mine, became once among those regarded as “very curious,” with winds combating wildfire crews from placing out the flames. 

The SPSA acknowledged tankers, helicopters and crews are additionally struggling with a 2d blaze in northern Saskatchewan, factual south of Dillon, where a wildfire grew from 60 to 350 hectares Wednesday night.

Steve Roberts, the SPSA’s vice-president of operations, acknowledged in a facts convention Friday the agency is in the intervening time working with nearby communities to wait on address the smoke in the convey that’s expected to aggravate over the weekend.

Industrial air cleaners have additionally been deployed for instruct in community rinks, halls and other indoor spaces to offer a win setting for those with respiratory factors, he acknowledged.

The SPSA acknowledged the “overwhelming majority” of the province is at low possibility of wildfire, and that possibility is anticipated to elongate in the approaching days.

The province’s latest statistics show cloak Saskatchewan has skilled 202 wildfires to this level this three hundred and sixty five days, eclipsing the five-three hundred and sixty five days realistic of 195.

As a consequence, the SPSA issued a provincial fire ban Friday, which covers Crown lands, provincial parks and the Northern Saskatchewan Administration District. The ban entails any open fires, managed burns and fireworks.

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