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(UPDATE) NWT/BC fires impacting emergency phone lines

Fires around Fort Nelson are causing disruptions not only to daily life in the northern BC town, but they have affected emergency numbers here in the NWT.

Northwestel says the active fires in the NWT and BC have damaged telecommunications infrastructure, causing a disruption to Internet, Phone and Mobility services in Yukon, northern BC, as well as the Mackenzie Valley and Beaufort Delta regions of the NWT

RCMP Cpl Matt Halstead says as of Friday evening, 911 and the emergency RCMP lines are inoperable. If you need the police and are unable to get a hold of your local detachment, please attend in person. Due to the developing situation, we are unable to say which specific local detachment numbers or other phone services are impacted. While there is no exact timeline, updates will be provided in the future.

The City of Yellowknife has provided numbers for the community to use temporarily for Ambulance and Fire Emergencies. Kerry Thistle, Director of Economic Development Strategy for the City stated in an email that to ensure that the public is able to get assistance in the event of an emergency from FIRE or AMBULANCE, the City is providing the following mobile numbers that can be used for the duration of this disruption:

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                       FIRE or AMBULANCE

867-688-0462                              867-686-3653

The City will advise residents once services have been restored and the mobile numbers are deactivated.

Fire conditions near Fort Liard will be expected to be changing throughout the next 24 hours as high winds reaching up to 50-70KM are expected to push the fire eastern overnight. Fort Liard is also under an Evacuation Notice at this time.

The Department of Infrastructure has also stated on their website that “Wildfire season has started in the NWT. Road conditions can change with little to no warning.” The fires & wind combo in the Dehcho region have caused multiple highways to also be closed at this time and a full fire ban is in effect. You can follow the highways opening and closing here.

Update: (12:00PM 05/11/24)

Hay River has also updated their contact numbers for emergency services.

For fire and ambulance: 867 874 9333
For all others emergencies: 867 765 8337 (temporary 911 backup number)
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