Wildfire not advanced on Fort Liard as of Tuesday morning

Area of fire outside of Fort Liard. (Image courtesy of NWT Fire.)

Wildfire No. FS002 southwest of Fort Liard remains out of control, but heavy winds Monday did not advance it closer towards the community.

Lighter winds today are still seen as significant and could continue to put pressure on efforts to prevent the fire from crossing to the east shores of the Liard River, stated NWT Fire.

A notice that the community could be evacuated remains in effect.

“On the west side of the Liard River, we saw some eastward growth towards the Liard River and northwest growth away from it,” stated NWT Fire spokesperson Mike Westwick in a released Tuesday morning. “On the island (known locally as Ash Island), we saw some growth towards the shore of the island.”

Meanwhile,  new fire has been detected 40 kms south of Fort Simpson near Check Point on Highway 1 at the Liard junction. The fire is 40 kms west of Jean Marie River. NWT Fire stated it is less than one hectare in size and “will be actioned.”

Highway 1 remains closed from the Liard Crossing ferry to the Highway 3 intersection south of Fort Providence.

Thunderstorm cells may move through the area today, meaning a chance for erratic winds and stronger gusts.

A chance of rain in the evening would be positive, though with the area in severe drought, relief would be limited to one or two days, stated NWT Fire.

Five fire crews, three helicopters and two structure protection units are battling the blaze located 19 kms south of Fort Liard.

No structures have been lost due to this wildfire.

The fire jumped to a large island in the middle of the river last Friday, which has been the target of water bucket drops over the weekend and the blaze has not reached the eastern shore as of this update.

Airtankers also dropped fire retardant on the island where fire was spotted to in order to reduce fire intensity and prevent the fire from crossing to the east side of the Liard River.

NWT Fire stated it’s critical for all residents of Fort Liard to consider what they can do to reduce the risk of wildfire damage at their homes, camps, and cabins.

Regional fire restrictions continue being implemented in Dehcho Region, prohibiting any open flames and other activities effective immediately.

These restrictions are effective through May 24 and may be extended if necessary.

Check the GNWT’s highway conditions page for information on road closures. See the NWT’s Fire Map here.

To report a forest fire, call: 1-877-698-3473 (1-877-NWTFIRE) at any time of day.


About the Author

James O'Connor
James O’Connor joined CKLB 101.9 FM at the start of 2024, after working as a journalist, photo editor and managing editor at newspapers in Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. James also has experience in politics, arts, service clubs and the NWT’s non-profit sector. At this point in his lengthy career, James is thrilled to be working at such a unique media outlet and always welcomes notes from listeners at: james.oconnor@cklbradio.com.