In the latest update regarding the wildfires in the Wood Buffalo complex, officials have revealed that much of the northern perimeter of the fire has been contained.
After a more detailed survey, the northern perimeter of the fire closest to communities where fire growth has been deemed intolerable has been mapped at 146 kilometres in length. Significant progress has been made on securing this section of the fire. 60 km of the northern fire perimeter is now considered controlled.
71 km of the northern perimeter is considered contained. A contained fire perimeter is the portion of the fire perimeter that is not expected to spread given current resource commitments and forecasted weather and fire behavior conditions. Together, 90 percent of the northern perimeter is now considered contained or controlled.
The current forecast is calling for warm and dry conditions in the area over the weekend, which could raise fire activity. Temperatures remain approximately 5 – 10 degrees Celsius higher than the seasonal average, despite cooler overnight temperatures.
Fire crews have been taking advantage of what cooler weather there has been to make progress on hotspots on the perimeter. Firefighters are making good progress, but more time is needed before the communities surrounding Fort Smith will be ready for residents to return.
Highway 5 is currently closed to the public from Hay River to Fort Smith due to safety concerns and limited visibility. Essential workers returning by vehicle will be allowed through the closure checkpoint as long as conditions are safe for travel.