The fire in Hay River/KFN has grown swiftly today at approximately 2937 hectares in size, up 960 hectares since last night.
Through helicopters and airtanker support, defenses for Old Village in KFN have been reinforced and dozer lines have been established once again after a long night of work for firefighters.
“Today will be an extremely difficult day – adding more strain onto what was already a tough situation,” NWT Fire says.
Mayor of Hay River Kandis Jameson provided an update as well as some personal thoughts regarding the state of her town and the evacuation process through the wildfire situation.
“Last night we had the fire jump the breaks on both ends of the community, so it got a little bit hot around here,” Jameson told MyTrueNorthNow. “We are expecting winds of up to 50-60 kilometers and thick black smoke is heading towards highway 5,” she adds.
NWT Fire says conditions are most likely going to lead to fires near highway 5 and crown fires through the forest are expected, leading to plumes of black smoke into the area.
“We expect fire could reach the highway by this evening,” NWT Fire says.
The Fire is currently roughly 5km north of Highway 5 and officials say anyone in the area must be on high alert.
“I urge people to get out of here, you need to understand that right now and the next two days, it’s crucial that people are not in the community,” Mayor Jameson says. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to leave the community right now, we need to know that it’s just essential workers in here and that should we need to get them out they will be advised on where to go with muster points,” she added.
NWT Fire is currently coordinating with the Department of Infrastructure regarding highway matters. In response, crews are continuing to focus on structure protection in the area by widening dozer defenses along the Kátł’odeeche Reserve road. NWT Fire says additional resources are coming tomorrow to strengthen these efforts.