A wildfire has jumped Highway 6 and is heading toward the abandoned townsite of Pine Point, while Highway 3 has reopened following a separate fire-related closure.
The territorial government warned the public to avoid the Pine Point area on Saturday, adding that campers in the region had been asked to leave.
The fire crossed Highway 6, which runs from Highway 5 to Fort Resolution, at kilometre 24 – just south of Pine Point, a former mining town abandoned after operations ceased in 1988.
The Department of Transportation closed Highway 6 on Saturday but reopened the road at 1pm on Sunday. The Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) said on Saturday that Fort Resolution had switched to backup diesel, as fires were close to transmission lines and crews could not get in while the road was closed. The NTPC asked local customers to conserve energy.
Meanwhile, a separate fire at kilometre 160 of Highway 3 – near Birch Lake, roughly midway between Behchoko and Fort Providence – led to Highway 3’s closure for much of Saturday. The road reopened shortly after 9pm.
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Fifteen new fires have been reported in the South Slave in the past two days.
On Friday, the CBC reported that firefighting operations in the South Slave had been hampered by the theft of fuel from a government cache.
Two helicopters were reportedly grounded for more than three hours while replacement fuel was delivered from Hay River.
Map: Pine Point fire
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Map: Highway 3 fire
[flexiblemap address=”62.119036, -116.259033″ title=”Fire” zoom=”8″]