Out-of-control wildfire 40 kilometres from Yellowknife still too dangerous to put crews on the ground

Smoke from fires like this one near Yellowknife last week has prompted a health advisory for Norman Wells and Fort Good Hope

An out-of-control wildfire, burning about 40 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife, is still too dangerous to put firefighting crews on the ground to battle it.

That word from personnel from the Department on Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) in a conference call with the media on Monday.

Smoke from that fire, now measured at about 240 square kilometres or 2400 hectares, can been seen from Yellowknife high rises.

The fire is showing “extreme behaviour” meaning it can only be fought from the air using tankers at this time.

Officials are hoping to create a fire break today in an attempt to turn the fire back on itself and remove fuel, essentially trees, from its path.

They say the fire, which was started by lightning, is of no threat to Yellowknife or any other communities at this time.

ENR has put out a call in an attempt to recruit firefighters from other provinces and possibly Yukon to help but won’t know until later in the week if that’s going to happen.

An NWT firefighting crew has just returned from helping to fight fires in Northwestern Ontario where some Indigenous communities have had to be evacuated this month.

There are a number of other fires burning across the NWT and Northern Alberta which is creating smoky conditions in parts of the South and North Slave Regions but are not threatening any communities at this time.

Keep it here for updates.



About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.