Active N.W.T. wildfires increase over weekend, majority remain in North, South Slave

·2 min read
This lightning-caused fire is located 28 km southeast of Gameti.    (Department of Environement and Natural Resources  - image credit)
This lightning-caused fire is located 28 km southeast of Gameti. (Department of Environement and Natural Resources - image credit)

There were 45 active wildfires in the N.W.T. as of Sunday afternoon, the majority of which are in the North and South Slave.

According to the N.W.T. wildfire update website, all 45 are being responded to.

Chris Tourangeau is the North Slave regional duty officer, fire behaviour and ignition specialist with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

The weather has made the conditions easy for fires to start and that the majority of wildfires in the N.W.T. are caused by lightning, he told Loren McGinnis, host CBC's the Trailbreaker. 

However, human-caused ones can be more dangerous as they're often closer to communities.

The department is warning residents to refrain from starting campfires on the land in certain areas and to have proper safety measures in place if one is started. This includes having a bucket of water on hand, and making sure the fire is out when finished.

There are currently 18 active wildfires in the South Slave, according to the N.W.T. wildfire update, of which five lightning caused ones are of note.

The largest, 250 hectares in size, is about 55 kilometres southeast of Fort Resolution and is "receiving limited action to protect values in the area."

There are 13 active wildfires in the North Slave, including one that is 740 hectares in size, about 16 kilometres south of Wekweètì. The fire is being fought, according to the territorial government's update.

On Facebook, NWT Fire posted that smoke is being felt in nearby communities in the North Slave.

There are seven active wildfires in the Dehcho and another seven in the Sahtú, none of concern, the update said.

There are no wildfires reported in Beaufort Delta.

Crews from Alberta will be assisting the territory by sending five crews, according to a Facebook post from Alberta Wildfire,

The post said the agency was able to do this due to a low number of wildfires in Alberta.

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