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‘Rocking Horse Ranch’ fire outside Yellowknife

Firefighters were called to Rocking Horse Ranch, an abandoned property on Yellowknife’s city limits, on Wednesday evening.

The City of Yellowknife says crews answered a call at around 9pm to find a barn at the site, formerly owned by Johnny Rocher, on fire.

Crews found “no obvious source of ignition”. The fire is considered suspicious, but there are no reported witnesses.

“It is troubling,” said Dennis Marchiori, the city’s director of public safety.

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“We usually do deal with some squatter fires in and around the city.

“Had the wind been stronger and conditions drier, there would have been more of a concern.”

Marchiori said the priority had been putting out fires which spread from the barn to nearby trees. He told Moose FM the barn was “pretty much burnt to the ground”.

The land on which the barn sat, by the side of Highway 3, is owned by the territory and leased by the city.

Rocher sub-leased the 40-acre ranch property in 1987. It became a home for all manner of salvaged materials considered to be artifacts of city history by Rocher, but often termed ‘junk’ by the city.

Rocher’s lease was cancelled in November 1998.

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