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NWT Parks warns of campsite scam for evacuees

Evacuees are occupying about 40 sites at Fred Henne park. Campers enjoy the park's beach in this file photo from 2014. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)
Evacuees are occupying about 40 sites at Fred Henne park. Campers enjoy the park's beach in this file photo from 2014. (Sara Minogue/CBC - image credit)

With thousands of people having to evacuate from Hay River and Kátł'odeeche First Nation, officials have scrambled to accommodate displaced residents.

One solution has been people giving up their reservations at territorial parks.

Heidi Kane is the manager of park facilities and operations in the North Slave region.

She says evacuees are occupying about 40 sites in Fred Henne Territorial Park near Yellowknife.

"We've had a ton of support from Yellowknife campers calling in, giving up their sites," she said.

Park staff are now contacting some people with reservations asking if they'd be willing to give up their site. Residents that do so are also eligible for a refund.

Unfortunately, in the chaos of trying to accommodate evacuees, Kane says they've had some situations — mostly through social media — of non-evacuees claiming sites.

Kane says campers looking to give up their site should call the Fred Henne gatehouse and staff can ensure it will go to evacuees on their waitlist.

"So far we've been able to accommodate everyone," said Kane. "But we have heard that people are moving up north from Enterprise, so we could be looking for a few more."

Kane also reminded residents that a fire ban will kick in Friday in Yellowknife and surrounding areas. The ban includes Fred Henne and the Yellowknife River day use area.