Residents of Sambaa K’e, Wekweètì returning home, but fire risk remains

Wekweètì was evacuated last week, while residents of Sambaa K'e were stranded away from home for more than a month

(NWT Fire)

Residents of two N.W.T. communities threatened by wildfire are finally returning home.

Sambaa K’e residents were given the green light to return home over the weekend. And residents of Wekweètì have two options for flights to bring them home from Yellowknife this week: The first Air Tindi flight leaves this afternoon at 4:30. And the second flight, also with Air Tindi, leaves Wednesday at 2:00 p.m.

Wekweètì was evacuated last week due to concerns about a trio of wildfires in the area. Meanwhile, residents of Sambaa K’e were stranded away from home for more than a month, with most staying in nearby Fort Simpson.

But in both cases, the fire risk is not over.

A map of the area showing the locations of the fires. (NWT Fire)

The fire near Sambaa K’e is still considered out of control, according to the GNWT. That fire was last measured at nearly 451,000 hectares in size. It has been about 8 kilometres from the community at its closest point for several weeks.

The largest of the three Wekweètì fires, located between the community and the airport, was last measured at 73 hectares in size.

There have been 72 fires so far this year, affecting nearly 616,000 hec

For more information on the two flights to Wekweètì, residents have two contact options: Lisa Judas can be reached at 867-446-0881; And Colinda Blondin can be reached at 867-447-2404.

Wekweètì residents looking for updates are encouraged to follow the community Facebook page.

About the Author

Ian Down
Ian Down is a general news reporter from the West Island of Montreal. After studying journalism and computer science at Concordia University, he came to Yellowknife in 2021, joining the CKLB team in September 2022. When not behind his desk, you can find him at a local Yellowknife poetry reading, or annoying his roommates by playing his clarinet at odd hours. Feel free to reach out with any tips or story ideas at, or follow him on Twitter at @IanDown1996.