Several communities under extreme fire risk

(Photo retrieved from Pexels).

Updated on May 10, 12:30 p.m. with comments from ENR.

Several communities in the South Slave and Deh Cho regions are currently at extreme risk for fire.

That’s according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) fire danger forecast.

Enterprise, Kakisa and Fort Providence are all considered extreme risk in the South Slave, while Hay River is considered high risk. Fort Smith, Fort Resolution and Fort Providence are all currently considered in “drought condition”, according to ENR. In an email, spokesperson Meagan Wohlberg explained if a fire “is established in the duff layers it can burn deep and survive rain events and re-establish itself at a later date.” The duff layer is made up of decomposing material on the ground.

In the Deh Cho, Fort Simpson, Fort Liard and Nahani Butte are all under extreme risk while Wrigley is also considered high.

The current forecast predicts the risk level to drop slightly for each region going into the weekend.

So far this year, four fires have been put out in the Deh Cho and one in the South Slave. No fires have been reported in either region in the last 48 hours but the risk remains very high.

Wohlberg added, “Residents are advised to use extreme caution while building campfires and ensure they are completely extinguished prior to leaving the area.”

As a reminder, most territorial parks open next Wednesday, May 15, including those in the South Slave region; Fort Simpson and Sambaa Deh parks in the Deh Cho open on May 17, and Blackstone on June 1.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.