Flaming rabbit blamed for sparking Saskatchewan wildfire
Two schools on a Saskatchewan First Nation were evacuated Monday after a controlled blaze suddenly erupted into a wildfire.
The cause of the chaos, officials believe, was a flaming rabbit.
The planned fire was carried out by a fire department on Beardy's & Okemasis' Cree Nation, about 90 kilometres north of Saskatoon.
But when fire officials thought their controlled blaze was over, it suddenly reignited, according to councilor Kevin Seesequasis, who oversees emergency management in the community.
“Unfortunately, after a controlled burn was conducted and thought-to-be extinguished, a rabbit-on-fire (yes, this is true) lit another adjacent section of bush and caught fire,” Seesequasis said in a statement.
The fire quickly grew in size and strength, and the fire chief decided to evacuate both the Chief Beardy Memorial Elementary School and Constable Robin Cameron Education Complex.
Firefighters eventually put out the blaze. No injuries were reported.
Both schools remained closed for the day. Mental health supports will be made available for students upset by the fire.
In an ironic twist, the community was just launching its emergency preparedness week. Seesequasis said the fire was “certainly a good way to start our week, and test our skills.”