Human error plays huge role so far in NWT wildfire season

Wildfire near the Taltson River from 2019. (Photo courtesy of ENR.)

According to the department of Environment and Natural Resources, over half of the wildfires currently in the NWT have been human-caused.

As of today, 16 wildfires have been reported, nine of which are man-made.

With a total of six active fires within the territory, affecting an area as large as 4,687  hectares.

Crews and tankers are currently responding to a fire in the South Slave region approximately 50 km east of Hay River.

“We are sitting below average for what we’d expect this year,” said Richard Olsen, wildfire operations specialist.

Although risk levels may have been be low to moderate within the territory, the human element plays an unpredictable role in managing the risk.

When asked about how neighbouring communities should prepare for the event of a fire, Olsen said, “The biggest thing we could do at this time is to look after our own properties and stay updated with Fire Smart.”

In an effort to limit the risk, the  City of Yellowknife has placed a city-wide and parks-based ban on open fires due to increasingly dry conditions, just last week.

Regional Wildfire Updates

The charts below are a fire danger level forecast for the upcoming few days.


(Photo courtesy of ENR)

South Slave

(Photo courtesy of ENR)

North Slave

(Photo courtesy of ENR)


(Photo courtesy of ENR)

Beaufort- Delta

(Photo courtesy of ENR)


This forecast index map breakdowns the varying degrees of fire weather risks around Canada for the June 23rd 2020.

(Photo courtesy of Environment Canada) This forecast index map breaks down the varying degrees of fire weather risks around Canada for June 23rd, 2020.

To report a fire please call the Fire Operations hotline at 1-877-NWT-FIRE (698-3473).

About the Author

Mariah Caruso
Mariah Caruso is a digital journalist, originally from Toronto, Canada. She graduated from the University of Toronto with a Hons. Bachelor of Arts and completed her Journalism post-grad at Sheridan College. She has an insatiable appetite for life, storytelling, connecting to the people, and getting to the heart of the issue. On her spare time, you can find her at your local coffee shop writing songs, poetry and prose or at the gym out-lifting men. If you have a story idea, feel free to send her an email at or call 867-766-2552 Ext 108