Lightning triggers new fires in Yukon

Firefighters turn to air support as fire reaches 37km of Dawson City

Firefighters thankful for rain but say battle is far from over

A lightning storm in northern Yukon has sparked new forest fires.

According to Yukon Wildland Fire Management this includes a 60-hectare fire near Dominion Creek, approximately 37 kilometres southeast of Dawson City.

Duty Officer Lorne Harris said firefighters have been using airtankers and helicopters to fight that fire. The fire is not considered threatening to the community.

"It remains active but fortunately there has been some rain on the fire which has slowed the fire behavior but has made conditions smoky in Dawson City and the nearby areas," said Harris.

Firefighters have been working in shifts late into the night and crews are expected to continue their work today with both ground and air support. Yukon has called on the assistance of 41 firefighters from British Columbia. 

Another new fire is burning south of Australia Mountain approximately 88 kilometres southeast of Dawson City. The smoke and flames can reportedly be seen from the Klondike Highway.

Lightning has also triggered several new fires in the Old Crow district, but the community is not said to be at risk.

All burning permits have been suspended across Yukon. Campfires are still permitted, but fire Information Officer George Maratos is urging residents to be extremely cautious.