20 properties potentially at risk from wildfire near Dawson City

·1 min read
Smoke from the Coal Creek wildfire is visible from Rian Lougheed Smith's property near Rock Creek. Smith and other local property owners are under an evacuation alert. (Rian Lougheed Smith - image credit)
Smoke from the Coal Creek wildfire is visible from Rian Lougheed Smith's property near Rock Creek. Smith and other local property owners are under an evacuation alert. (Rian Lougheed Smith - image credit)

Yukon emergency officials say a wildfire near Dawson City has been growing more slowly than expected, but some properties east of the town are still under potential threat.

"There's over 20 different properties and structures that are currently assessed as potentially being at risk from this fire, if conditions push the fire in a certain direction," said Diarmuid O'Donovan, director of Yukon's Emergency Measures Organization, on Wednesday afternoon.

The Coal Creek fire, east of Dawson City, was about 6,500 hectares on Wednesday. It's burning a few kilometres north of the North Klondike Highway, and officials on Tuesday were expecting it to spread toward the highway.

O'Donovan said Wednesday that the fire grew more slowly than expected overnight.

"We've had some rain affecting areas under fire at the moment, and that includes the airport, Rock Creek, Henderson Corner and many of the farms in the area. So that was a bit of a bonus," he said.

An evacuation alert issued on Tuesday remains in place for those areas, though.

O'Donovan said fire crews are busy putting structure protection in place for the properties potentially at risk.

"Many of the properties are not actually occupied full time. However, folks that do have property should be aware of the fire."

He said fire crews are going door-to-door today to ensure that anybody in the affected areas knows what's happening.

"It's a good time for residents in that area to dust off their family emergency kit or household emergency kit," said O'Donovan.

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