The Johnny Berens ferry is out of service temporarily after a forest fire destroyed the slipway on the south side of the N'Dulee crossing on N.W.T.'s Highway 1. (photo courtesy of Michael Chemerys)

The slipway and camp trailer for the Johnny Berens ferry at the N'Dulee crossing on N.W.T.’s Highway 1 has been destroyed by a forest fire.

No one was injured.

The fire is burning on the south side of the Mackenzie River. The ferry was taken out of service Tuesday due to heavy smoke in the area. 

Ferry captain Dave West is being credited with saving staff from the camp and their personal belongings. Around 4 p.m., when West saw embers hitting the vessel, he decided to round up staff and their belongings and ferried the evacuees to the north shore.

"After that, he kept calling me and updating me on what he was seeing," said Dan Quevillon, with the Department of Transportation in Fort Simpson.

"We found out when ENR called last night that we had lost our camp trailer and our slipway."

The slipway is made of wooden beams where the ferry is stored during the winter months. 

Fire crews continue to work on the fire that is burning 60 kilometres north of Fort Simpson.   

A spokesperson for N.W.T.’s Department of Transportation said it could be Thursday before the Johnny Berens ferry is running again.