Burnout operation planned for fire near Snare, won’t be fought

Photo courtesy: NWT Fire
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Crews are planning to conduct a burnout operation on a wildfire that is burning out of control near the Snare hydro system this week.

The fire has grown to 1,900 hectares in size after first being reported at 10 hectares last week. It’s burning roughly 10 kilometers south of the dam itself and 65 kilometers north of Behchoko.

It’s one of 101 fires that have been reported in the Northwest Territories this fire season, affecting over 70,000 hectares of land.

More information: Current wildland fire situation

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Read: Fire near Snare system out of control, could threaten assets

Amber Simpson is a wildfire information officer with the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

She says crews are hoping to conduct a burnout operation by the end of the week once weather conditions become more favourable in the region.

Operations of that nature are used to prevent further fire growth and protect values in the area.

“We’re just waiting for the right conditions to do that operation,” Simpson told reporters Monday. “Likely at the end of the week.”

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Simpson says wooden poles and transmission lines along the Snare River aren’t being threatened right now, but that could change depending on how the fire advances.

“They’re not at any immediate risk right now,” she said. “But crews are out there prepping the area so that we can try to protect those values.”

“We’re just going to try to protect values that are there, we’re not actually fully fighting the whole fire. Once we have the values protected, we’ll just let the fire continue.”

The fire is also burning roughly a kilometer away from the airstrip that services the facility.

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As of last week, three crews and heavy equipment were at work in the area.

Fire danger remains high to extreme throughout the North Slave region, with temperatures expected to rise and thunderstorms in the forecast Tuesday.

Forest floors also remain extremely dry in the region.

By this time last year, 200 fires had been reported across the territory, burning 387,000 hectares of land.

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