N.W.T. fire crews smoked out by Fire 85 near Yellowknife

Fire crews set up a temporary camp at the Folk on the Rocks site outside of Yellowknife last night after they were smoked out from Fire 85, burning about 27 kilometres northwest of the city.

Air Quality Health Index forecasts 'high risk' for Yellowknife later today

A fire covering approximately 5,000 hectatres burning about 30 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife. Fire crews working at the site set up camp at the Folk on the Rocks site near Yellownife after being smoked out last night. (Submitted by Glen Abernethy )

A spokesperson for the N.W.T.'s Department of Environment and Natural Resources says fire crews set up a temporary camp at the Folk on the Rocks site outside Yellowknife last night.

The crews were working on the southern part of what they're calling Fire 85, about 27 kilometres from the city.

High winds and smoke forced the crews to leave the area of the fire.

The spokesperson says the crews will return to fight the fire today.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement just after 4 a.m. MT this morning.

It warns that “smoke is creating a high health risk” in the Yellowknife region. It advises children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease reduce strenuous activity outdoors wherever possible, until the air quality improves.

Around 5 a.m., the government’s Air Quality Health Index put the risk at three out of 10. 

However, that's forecast to reach 10 out of 10 later today, dropping to 9 overnight and tomorrow. 

An expert has advised that the fire is unlikely to reach the city

The Air Quality Health Index for Yellowknife was calculated at 3 out of 10 at 5 a.m. but is forecast to reach 10 later today. (Environment Canada)