Lightning sparked 23 new forest fires in Yukon Thursday, causing the territory to request additional help from B.C. firefighters.

Yukon has asked for 62 more firefighters from B.C., who are expected to arrive in Whitehorse Friday morning. They will join the 45 B.C. firefighters already helping out in the territory.


Yukon Fire Information Officer George Maratos says the safest and most effective response to four new priority fires in the territory is from the air with air tankers and helicopters. (CBC)

Wildland Fire Management officials said four of the new fires required immediate action by airtankers.

"Obviously, the emphasis right now is the protection of life and property, while maintaining the safety of our staff," said Fire Information Officer George Maratos.

"Given the intense fire behaviour on some of these fires, the safest and most effective response was from the air with air tankers and helicopters."

One of the priority fires is burning 18 kilometres east of Faro. Two are near Carmacks: one 45 kilometres east of the community near Little Salmon River and another 16 kilometres northwest near Free Gold Road. The fourth is 36 kilometres northeast of Mayo.

Environment Canada is forecasting more thunderstorms in the area for Friday.