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“The fire will continue to be active through re-opening”: Town of Hay River announces re-entry plan

After nearly four weeks of displacement due to wildfires ravaging the South Slave, The Town of Hay River has approved a re-entry plan for the community. 

According to the Town, a controlled re-entry sequence will be used to ensure a safe and effective return to Hay River when the time comes. Exact dates for the re-entry stages will be announced after the weekend. 

“The fire will continue to be active through re-opening and probably well into the Fall, so at this point there’s several controls that are identified to reduce risks within the plan,” Town of Hay River representative Glenn Smith says. 

The first of the two stage re-entry process will see essential services returning to the community first, with a four day window to get up and running for members of the public to return home. 

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The second will see a full re-entry of residents to the town except for those residing in compromised areas such as Paradise Gardens until utilities have been restored and risk has been mitigated in those affected areas. 

Additionally, members of the public with special health needs are asked to shelter in locations approved by health services until a full resumption of community health services takes place. 

Anyone in need of temporary accomodation due to loss of property is asked to contact their insurance company to discuss options. 

Hay River Mayor Kandis Jameson has issued a word of caution for those who plan on returning soon, saying they should expect some shocking devastation related to the wildfire in the community. 

“The devastation is really unreal so I think people need to be aware and prepare yourself when you come home because the whole landscape of our community has changed,” Mayor Jameson says. 

Mayor Jameson says she remains hopeful that a return date may be announced within the next seven to ten days, but says anything can happen and the Town is committed to not allowing anyone to return if conditions are unsafe. 

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