Saskatchewan firefighters are getting some help from the federal government to fight the wildfires burning in the northern part of the province. 500 troops will arrive in Saskatchewan Monday to assist with firefighting efforts.

Premier Brad Wall and Brigadier General Wayne Eyre spoke at a press conference in Regina. They spoke on military services and how the provincial government is dealing with the crisis.

Brigadier General Eyre says members of the military are currently on the scene doing reconnaissance.

The troops are members of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry and are coming from Edmonton to help with the fire fighting. They will be trained for the first 24 hours on proper fire safety and fire techniques before hitting the front lines. Brig.-Gen. Eyre says residents should expect to see armoured vehicles driving infantry members through the rough terrain.

“We are here to compliment the firefighters of Saskatchewan,” Brig.-Gen. Eyre said.

The last time the Canadian Armed Forces were called on to fight a fire of this magnitude was back in 2003.

Wall says the military was called upon because they needed a large amount of men and women who could be quickly mobilized and trained to fight fires.

“We need the firefighting support to help us for the long term,” Wall said, “La Ronge and area is the focus right now.”

The Egg fire, near La Ronge, is currently the most threating fire. The community remains under full evacuation alert.

The Eli fire destroyed three structures on the Montreal Lake First Nation, and threatens other communities including English Bay and Sucker River.

Firefighters from across central Saskatchewan have arrived in La Ronge to assist with controlling wildfires. Muskoday First Nation, Warman, Prince Albert, Nipawin, the RM of Buckland, and Saskatoon have sent personnel and equipment to assist in the efforts to put out the flames. A firefighting tanker from Montana will also be sent to La Ronge. Resources have recently come from Newfoundland and Quebec. Ontario and New Brunswick, and South Dakota have also contributed to the efforts.

There are 112 active fires in Saskatchewan, according to the fire report. Six of those fires are greater than 100 hectares.

Crews have put out a fire near East Trout Lake community and residents can return to their homes.

There have been concerns that the budget will be affected by the amount of resources sent to control the fires. However, Wall says that at this time, the government’s first priority is fighting fires.

“Compared with most other places in the country we are in a favourable and enviable position with respect to finances,” Wall said.

He added that in previous natural disasters with flooding the province has balanced the budget.