N.W.T. wildfires now nearing Gameti, Wekweeti
Highway 1 closed between Kakisa and Enterprise
The fire situation remains extreme in N.W.T.'s North and South Slave regions as firefighters battle blazes near Gameti, Wekweeti and Kakisa.
The Department of Transportation temporarily closed Hwy 1 Tuesday afternoon between Enterprise and Kakisa due to forest fire smoke.
Bill Mawdsley, in charge of forest management for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, says this fire season is the worst in decades.
"In the broader scope of things, the drought conditions that we're seeing and the fire behaviour we're seeing is something we haven't seen in about 30 years," he said.
Mawdsley says there's no move yet to evacuate either Wekweeti or Gameti.
As of Monday, a 25,000 hectare fire was six kilometres from Gameti. He says crews have been working to help keep the fire from the community using controlled burns to set up fire containment lines.
He said the fire near Wekweeti is on the other side of the lake the community borders on, which should reduce the chances of having to evacuate.
Fires and smoke closed Highway 4/Ingraham Trail near Yellowknife over the weekend. The road has reopened but the Reid Lake territorial campground remains closed as ENR is using it as a fire base.
Residents of Kakisa, who left in a voluntary evacuation June 27 as smoke from a nearby fire blanketed their community, returned home this week.