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Phase 3 return plans halted due to wildfires along Highway 1, return to Yellowknife date to be rescheduled

The City of Yellowknife has announced they will be pausing the return of essential workers just three days after the GNWT’s announcement that the city has entered Phase 3 of the five-step re-entry plan. 

Fires along Highway 1 are expected to accelerate from Friday, September 1 to Sunday, September 3. Highway 1 is currently open for essential travel but is subject to closure as visibility remains poor. The GNWT says the Highway is expected to be closed from Friday to Sunday this week. 

“I’m frustrated, annoyed, upset, and many more emotions,” Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty shares on social media.

“At the end of the day, we’re dealing with a challenging fire and we have to address the challenges that get thrown at us day by day, hour by hour,” she adds. 

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According to Alty, the City and the GNWT planned on the announcement of Phase 5 (the final stage and return home for all) however, the situation along the highway has halted the announcement. 

“Once we have a new date for Phase 5, we look forward to announcing it,” the Mayor says. 

Despite the closure, the return of essential health staff by air will continue during this time. 

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