Environment.
A wildfire burning near Pelican Narrows in the fall of 2017 as seen from Highway 106 near Flin Flon, Man. The fire shut down portions of the highway and led to mass evacuations. Photo submitted to the Prince Albert Daily Herald.

Hey Saskatchewan: Let's talk about wildfires

Learn how you can help The Discourse and the Prince Albert Daily Herald do a better job of covering wildfires.

Wildfires are here to stay. That’s why we, The Discourse and The Prince Albert Daily Herald, have teamed up to do a better job of investigating how they affect people and communities in Saskatchewan.

How? By listening first. With help from Saskatchewan’s Indigenous radio station, Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation, social media and a text-messaging service called Groundsource, we’re asking folks in Saskatchewan how wildfires have affected their lives and what questions they have as we head into the summer.

You can fill out the survey here.

As independent news outlets, we believe in moving beyond crisis-driven headlines. That’s how we approach complex issues like addiction  – see the Herald’s stories on a proposed supervised injection site, and The Discourse’s Kids of Addiction.

We also believe collaboration allows for better investigative storytelling. That’s why we’re turning our focus to wildfires, together.

We know wildfires have hit close to home for many of you in northern Saskatchewan, from the crisis in 2015 that forced thousands to evacuate hundreds of kilometres away because of overcrowded evacuation centres, to last summer, when thousands more were displaced.

After these fires, we’re hearing that more work needs to be done. There are concerns about how wildfires are managed by the province of Saskatchewan. We’re hearing from Indigenous communities seeking more autonomy in how wildfire threats and responses are handled, with the Prince Albert Grand Council signing an unprecedented agreement with the Red Cross to better respond to Indigenous community members during evacuations.

We know you have questions, and we want to respond to them. How have you been affected? What do you want to know more about?  You can fill out this survey to share your thoughts. You can email The Discourse’s Lauren Kaljur or the Herald’s Peter Lozinski.

You can also message us on Facebook, here and here.

Do you want to be part of a regular conversation about wildfires? You can sign up for the Fire Break newsletter to get short wildfire insights delivered to your inbox every two weeks.