A big thank you
The Government of Saskatchewan is thanking Prince Albert and Saskatoon for welcoming evacuees with open arms.
Emergency Social Services coordinator Deanna Valentine thanked the communities during a conference call with media Friday.
“Both communities have been very supportive of the evacuated residents, providing entertainment and transportation options,” she said.
“The residents of both Saskatoon and Prince Albert have been very welcoming on the whole, and supportive of the evacuees.”
Both Saskatoon and Prince Albert have allowed evacuees to ride public transit just by showing their wristbands so they don’t have to carry change or bus tickets.
The City of Prince Albert sent out a press release Friday officially welcoming evacuees to the city.
“Mayor Greg Dionne would like to formally welcome evacuees who arrived in Prince Albert last week due to forest fires in northern Saskatchewan,” the release said.
The release also said that in an effort to assist further, Dionne would like to advise evacuees of locations where they can access free public Wi-Fi.
“I’ve met with some evacuees this week and one of the issues that was raised with me was the need for internet access,” Dionne was quoted as saying.
“Social media is the way that many people are staying informed about the progress of the fire situation and staying connected with family members that stayed behind in other communities.”
Free public access for all is available at City Hall and at the library. Sask Tel customers can access Wi-Fi on their devices through Sask Tel Select at several other city locations.
Valentine also had a message for evacuees: if you’ve been shopping while evacuated, keep in mind that each person will only be allowed one piece of luggage on the bus home. Individuals will have to arrange for shipping of any other items.
The province also assured residents that their home community is in good hands while they are gone.
Regular patrols are being held, and RCMP officers are even providing food for pets who have been left behing.