Wildfire update, Sept. 6 8:30 p.m.: Yellowknifers return home as threat continues in South Slave

It was not immediately clear how many had made the trip either by road or by air on Wednesday.

(GNWT photo)

Yellowknifers began to return home today after three weeks away from the city.

On Wednesday morning, the evacuation order for Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ was downgraded to an evacuation alert.

It was not immediately clear how many had made the trip either by road or by air on Wednesday.

As residents return home, the GNWT issued a stern warning this afternoon on social media after children were found playing along the highway in an area burned by wildfire. “This is extremely dangerous,” the warning reads.

In a video posted to social media on Wednesday morning, Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty cautioned residents that things would look different upon arrival: There are several new fire breaks in town, including behind Niven and along the highway.

As for city services, garbage pickup, water delivery, and solid waste services all resume tomorrow, Thursday Sept. 7. There will be no organics pickup until October.

An indefinite fire ban is in place in Yellowknife.

Meanwhile in the South Slave, NWT Fire says the risk to Hay River and surrounding communities remains significant despite some recent rain, due to the proximity of the fire. Tightlining (digging away fuel along the edge of the fire) continued near the community today. Tightlining is also underway near Kakisa.

In a social media post on Wednesday, Parks Canada laid out a set of criteria that would need to be met before residents of Fort Smith can return home: “The northeastern perimeter of the fire – stretching from Thebacha down underneath Fort Smith and across to below Fort Fitzgerald – must be free of hot spots and extinguished far enough in that fire will not spread outside the current boundary,” the post reads. Structure protection around communities will also need to be removed.”

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 ian.down@cklb.com, or follow him on Twitter at @IanDown1996.