N.W.T. has seen 131 forest fires so far this season

·1 min read
Smoke from a wildfire near Fort Simpson. The territory has seen 131 forest fires so far this year, affecting 114,174 hectares of land. (Hannah Paulson/CBC - image credit)
Smoke from a wildfire near Fort Simpson. The territory has seen 131 forest fires so far this year, affecting 114,174 hectares of land. (Hannah Paulson/CBC - image credit)

Smoke conditions persist in some communities across the N.W.T., as wildfire officials provide an update on the forest fire season.

The territory has seen 131 forest fires so far this year, affecting 114,174 hectares of land. That's slightly below the territory's 10 year average, which is 175.

Some regions are hotter and drier than usual, like the Beaufort Delta, so they're seeing more fire activity, whereas other parts of the territory have had more wet conditions due to high water levels.

The North Slave has had the most forest fires this year, with 42 in total, and 22 active fires.

If you've noticed smoke in Yellowknife, it's due to fires in the region which recently merged, said a spokesperson.

A few forest fires have "exceeded suppression efforts," said Richard Olsen, the territory's wildfire operations manager, which means the fires are not actively being fought.

But, wildfire officials will "look at the surrounding area in terms of where the fire might grow and start to put in plans for if the fire reaches a certain location," said Olsen.

A fire near Wrigley, named FS-015, is not actively being fought, but they're reassessing the situation on Tuesday. It previously closed down Highway 1 and has contributed to smokey conditions in surrounding communities.

According to Olsen, wildfires are likely to grow for another two weeks.

"I don't see anything in the forecast that is like a season ending event," like a large amount of rain or the beginning of a cooler fall.

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