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An 'Extremely challenging' day for Hay River firefighters

An air tanker doing drops in the Hay River, N.W.T. area in a photo supplied by N.W.T. Fire on Sept. 2. High winds, dry conditions, and temperatures of up to 25 degrees are expected to result in
An air tanker doing drops in the Hay River, N.W.T. area in a photo supplied by N.W.T. Fire on Sept. 2. High winds, dry conditions, and temperatures of up to 25 degrees are expected to result in

Firefighters in Hay River, N.W.T., worked to secure the area surrounding the community amid "extremely challenging" fire conditions on Sunday.

High winds, dry conditions, and temperatures of up to 25 degrees are expected to result in "significant fire activity" on Sunday.

N.W.T. Fire says that strong south-southwest winds could push the fire threatening Hay River and K'átł'odeeche First Nation a "significant distance" north toward Great Slave Lake over the course of the day.

Similar weather conditions, and even higher winds, are expected on Monday.

"We are now into the difficult days we had predicted and our team's efforts will be focused on reducing risks of problematic fire growth," N.W.T. fire said in an update on Sunday.

Despite the challenging conditions, fire crews are continuing to secure the area around the Hay River and K'átł'odeeche First Nation.

Crews are using heavy equipment to dig away fire fuel to the west of Hay River.

They are also working to secure two fingers of fire, which have crossed Highway 5 into the K'átł'odeeche First Nation reserve.

Despite the progress being made on protections, Hay River and West Point First Nation are still considered threatened.

In the K'átł'odeeche First Nation, existing burned areas around the most populated part of the reserve are are providing some protection for the community.