Unseasonable heat prompts warnings, adds to growing wildfire risk in Yukon

·1 min read

WHITEHORSE — Heat warnings and special weather statements cover much of Yukon and Environment Canada says residents of the territory can't expect much relief until at least mid-week.

The weather office says temperatures up to 28 C are expected from Old Crow in the north to the Whitehorse and Watson Lake regions in the south.

The heat and widespread lightning storms have also contributed to more than 100 wildfires sparked since the start of the fire season and Environment Canada says smoke is reducing air quality in parts of central and northern Yukon.

A statement from Wildland Fire Management says 21 new blazes were reported in Yukon between Saturday and Sunday, with fire danger in the Whitehorse region ranked as extreme.

Eighty-five active fires were burning as of Sunday, with several fires of concern reported around Mayo and Keno City, while the statement says 6,000 lightning strikes are peppering the territory daily.

A cluster of fires about 20 kilometres east of Stewart Crossing forced an emergency evacuation of the Ethel Lake campground late Saturday and campfire bans now cover all of Yukon, although cooking fires are still allowed in road-accessible campgrounds.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting