Wildfire claims two cabins near Wrigley

(Photo retrieved from Pehdzeh Ki First Nation Facebook)

Two cabins south of Wrigley have burned in the territory’s largest active wildfire.

According to Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer, one of the cabins belonged to Pehdzeh Ki First Nation and is “believed to have burned more than one week ago.”

In a statement, he said the other cabin likely burned over the weekend when fire FS-008 “took a 5km run during extreme fire weather.” The fire is now about 22,000 hectares and has burned on both sides of Highway 1.

The FS-008 fire can be seen near the Enbridge Pipeline Site. (Image provided by ENR)

Prior to the statement, Environment and Natural Resources said there had not been any damage related to the fire.

“Heavy smoke and ash in the area has at times challenged our ability to assess all values in the area,” said Westwick, “which is why we did not verify these losses until today.”

In recent weeks, crews conducted controlled burning in the area to try and control the size of the fire.

Westwick said the department can “state with absolute certainty” that the cabins were not lost in the controlled burns as they were not done in that area.

“We will be exploring eligibility for trappers and harvesters compensation assistance from the department with the owners of these cabins to support continued traditional activities in the area.”

Crews are still active in the area to limit the fire’s spread; Westwick says Wrigley is not at risk at this time.


Clarification: The original statement by ENR said the second cabin was burned after the fire took a 15km run. The department sent a corrected statement Wednesday morning saying the fire took a 5km run, not 15.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com