UPDATED: State of emergency and evacuation order lifted for Fort Good Hope

‘We look forward to welcoming you back home,’ says Chief Collin Pierrot

A group of wildland firefighters at Fort Good Hope. (Photo courtesy of NWT Fire)

After being away from home for almost three weeks, residents of Fort Good Hope will soon be allowed to return to the Sahtu community.

Collin Pierrot is chief of the charter community of more than 500.

“At 1:41 p.m. this afternoon, Chief and Council, our community EMO team. Alongside with MACA/ECC EMO team and Fire Ops have deemed it safe to lift the State of Emergency and Evacuation Order that was put in place three weeks ago due to wildfires,” he posted to social media.

“We will do our best to get everyone back as quickly as possible. The team in Norman Wells with the MACA team will arrange and organize flights for all Fort Good Hope evacuees. Once flights have been confirmed you will be notified by the team in Norman Wells.

Fort Good Hope Chief Collin Pierrot after the June 15 evacuation. (Image courtesy Teams/GNWT livestream)

The Chief asked that people refrain from contacting the teams in Norman Wells, or Fort Good Hope.

“We would like to thank you all for your patience and we look forward to welcoming you back home.”

Essential workers are cleared today to return to the community. MACA is working on a re-entry plan for the rest of the evacuees to return Sunday.

Those returning by air are limited to two bags per person, and they will be searched, stated Chief Pierrot.

“(The) prohibition order is still in effect,” he stated.

The wildfire was 8,226 hectares on Canada Day.

The community was evacuated June 15, as a blazingly fast wildfire kicked up after a campfire wasn’t properly extinguished nearby.

No structures or buildings were lost.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Matt Halstead previously told CKLB there could be a number offences considered in relation to the type of scenario that led to the emergency in Fort Good Hope.

“It would depend on the evidence that could be gathered and whether it would support a clear case of negligence that would rise to the threshold of criminal charges,” he stated in an email.

“The RCMP has not started an investigation in relation to the Fort Good Hope fire. This is obviously a fluid and on-going event and any information provided to the local detachment will be assessed accordingly.”

Halstead added this type of investigation would have to be done with the support of a fire examiner and likely would be a joint investigation.


Fort Good Hope wildfire VQ001 as viewed from space. (Image courtesy European Union via Greg McMeekin)


UPDATED: Friday afternoon, for flight explanation.

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.