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Saskatoon News

Gusty conditions across Saskatchewan

Winds fuel grass fires for some farmers
Reported by Chris Carr
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Hold onto your hats, literally. It's starting to feel more and more like fall in Saskatchewan.

Right now a number of wind warnings are in effect for areas north of Saskatoon. It’s causing some debris to be thrown around.

John Paul Cragg, Environment Canada’s severe weather specialist in Saskatchewan, says the real impact is being felt further north where wind warnings are out.

“In Buffalo Narrows, the station reported wind gusts up to 115 kilometres an hour,” he said.

Cragg says the wind isn’t going away soon.

“It will be a windy day again tomorrow (Wednesday). It won’t be as windy as today but we’re still looking at winds between 40 (kph) gusting to 60 or 50 gusting to 70 for a lot of the province,” he said.

It all has to do with a strong cold front sweeping in from Alberta. But don't put the shorts away just yet. We're expecting a bounce back in warmer temperatures for Saskatoon by the weekend. Right now Friday's forecasted high is in the 27 degrees range.

"Typical fall weather swing from cold to warm, and back to cold again," Mark Melsness with Environment Canada.

Melsness says we can expect these windy conditions to die down Tuesday evening.

Winds cause problems with grass fires

The wind is fuel as many farmers battle grass fires in the province. They are out in their own yards or helping out a neighbor.

There are many farmers in Saskatchewan today battling grass fires - either in their own One such farmer is Agricultural commentator Kevin Hursh of Hursh Consulting and Communications.

He farms in the Cabri area in southwest Saskatchewan and has been battling a grass fire for the past day and a half.

Thank goodness for good neighbours, he says.

“I would have been unable to contain it without the neighbours dropping by. Probably about 15 to 18 people showed up and three or four water trucks. We thought we had it out but the next day we had a problem again. Another eight or 10 people came by and lent their water trucks and brought water tankers,” he said.

“People really pulled together. You know, a fire is everybody’s problem so everybody pitches in to try and stop ‘em.”

Hursh says a neighbour is battling an even bigger fire that everyone has been battling with water trucks and heavy farm equipment, plus equipment from the RM.

“That one burned several miles and a half of a mile wide,” he said.

Hursh says there are still hot spots flaring up in the wind.

“I have to keep monitoring it and pouring water on it,” he said.

Hursh says even though his land butts up against a big slough, the fire wants to creep around the slough or even double back towards buildings.

Winds cause headache for roofers

The blustering winds are also giving roofers a headache.

Shawn Fiolleau, owner of Fiolleau Roofing Company said his workers are being extra careful on the job.

"The biggest hazard is probably the shingles flying out of bundles that aren't installed yet,"  said Fiolleau.

Not everyone, however, is taking a chance with safety.

Larissa Doell, an administrator with Great Canadian Roofing and Siding, said they've rescheduled all of their appointments to ensure that all their workers are safe.

"Due to the wind, we can't be up there roofing. It's a hazard  and our guys will get blown around."

-With files from News Talk Radio's David Kirton

ccarr@rawlco.com

Follow on Twitter @chriscarr15

dkirton@rawlco.com

Follow on Twitter: @DavidKirtonCKOM