NWT fire season opens with wildfire just outside Yellowknife

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The territory’s first forest fire of the season broke out roughly 25 northeast of Yellowknife over the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, a fire was reported between Prosperous Lake and Madeline Lake some 500 meters off the Ingraham Trail, according to the territorial government’s Department of Transportation.

Read: Ground Conditions Dry In Yellowknife As Fire Season Begins

First responders and environment officials quickly blocked off an access road and asked several cabin owners in the area to leave.

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Before ground crews with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) arrived on scene, Yellowknife firefighters worked to deploy sprinklers around buildings in the area.

An air attack was then initiated, with a tanker and helicopter dropping retardant and water in the area.

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By nightfall, cabin owners were allowed to return to their buildings, according to Yellowknife North MLA Cory Vanthuyne.

“[Saturday’s] fire was fought with retardant dropped by a bomber and water with a helicopter,” he said in a Sunday morning Facebook post.

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“Some structures that had the possibility of being threatened had sprinklers set on them. Residents at the southwest end of Madeline were asked to leave but were allowed back home later [Saturday] night.”

Ground and air crews were also on the scene Sunday, when the relatively small fire was expected to be extinguished. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

Richard Olsen, fire operations manager with ENR, is expected to brief the media on the territory’s wildfire situation Monday afternoon.

Earlier this month, he told reporters ground conditions are ‘relatively dry’ from Yellowknife down to Fort Liard.

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As of Monday morning, Natural Resources Canada says there is a high risk of fire danger in the Yellowknife area.

Throughout the NWT wildfire season, you can find the latest information here.

RCMP block off access to a road off the Ingraham Trail.
RCMP block off access to a road off the Ingraham Trail.

 

 

 

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