More fires, but less damage this summer in Yukon

Fire officials say the forest fire season in Yukon was a mixed bag – there were more fires than normal, but the fires were smaller and easier to put out than in other years.

There were 125 forest fires reported in the Yukon this summer and 90 of those were caused by lightning.

In all, there were about 30 more fires than normal but the total burnt forest area was down by about 40,000 hectares.

No buildings were lost and no one was hurt or lost their lives.

However, Yukon fire information officer George Maratos said the summer was made more dangerous by a disturbing string of deliberately set fires in the Mayo area.

“There was that situation in Mayo which is a concern of course where it looked to be as if fires were being deliberately set, and we would hope they would realize what they are doing is not smart and hopefully we don't see it again because it is very disturbing.”

Maratos said a relatively slow season at home meant Yukon firefighters were able to help out with fires in B.C. and Alberta.

But he said like everywhere else, Yukon fire crews are getting older and in the off-season this year, the Yukon will try to round up some younger recruits to head out on the fire lines next year.