Fort Good Hope wildfire still partly moving away from community

'We cannot and will not allow this to happen again to our community and family members,' says Chief Collin Pierrot

The Norman Wells evacuation centre being set up this week to receive Fort Good Hope evacuees. (Photo courtesy of Town of Norman Wells.)

The wildfire at Fort Good Hope was aided with winds yesterday, moving the fire away from the community and towards a 2017 burn area.

Frank McKay is the Information Officer for the fire, known as VQ001.

Some less-intense fire behaviour Tuesday allowed a ‘consultation flight,’ with officials, a Dene Elder and Fort Good Hope Chief Collin Pierrot, shown centre in purple shirt. (Photo courtesy of NWT Fire.)

“Our area of concern is the fire perimeter facing the community and our efforts will continue to extinguish hotspots and create a 50-foot black-line buffer to burn off flammable fuel material that could jump the containment lines with aerial support as needed,” he stated this morning.

“Our efforts are restricted with water access issues and we have to use water tenders (tanker trucks) to help us put out hot spots but we are maximizing resources on hand.”

Today’s weather forecast in the wildfire area calls for a cold front passing through, followed by increasing cloud cover through with a confirmed chance of a rain.

The forecast expects strong northerly winds developing through the late morning, then easing and shifting to northwesterly in the afternoon.

Fort Good Hope Chief Collin Pierrot talked about a flight he had yesterday over the area.

“(We) took a flight around the fire and learned it has burnt a large area and is still burning dangerously close to the heavy green area.” he posted to social media. “I know that we’re all getting a little impatient and wanting to come home but please bare with us, to ensure your safety for when we get you all back home.

“We cannot and will not allow this incident to happen again to our community and family members. Continue to pray for rain, we can sure use mother nature’s assistance about now.”

The community of over 500 people was evacuated Saturday, after an abandoned campfire sparked a fast-burning blaze.