Whitehorse residents tackle Hidden Lakes wildfire

Some locals who were out on the trails in Whitehorse on Sunday helped prevent a wildfire from spreading.
Hikers and bikers helped to put out a bush fire at Hidden Lakes on Sunday before the fire crew arrived. (Jess Heath)

Some local runners and bikers who were out on the trails in Whitehorse on Sunday helped prevent a wildfire from spreading.

Denis Lacroix was mountain biking with his girlfriend in the Hidden Lakes area when he saw smoke.

He says when they got to the fire, a couple of runners were dragging logs into the lake.

Lacroix says he called 911 and helped by pouring water from backpacks and water bottles onto the fire, but he says he wasn’t sure they could contain the blaze.

"Honestly, I thought this is it. I don't even know what we're doing,” Lacroix says.

“There was a lot of smoke. We were inhaling a lot of smoke. We were really really dirty, covered in soot. It was exciting, but I guess the thing that was going through my mind maybe the responders didn't know exactly where it was, even though I felt like I was being quite explicit because the Hidden Lakes area can be kind of confusing. There's three different Hidden Lakes and different ways to access it."

Lacroix says firefighters did arrive — on ATVs — and took over from there.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says although it doesn't encourage the public to fight fires, the actions of the bystanders, as well as four firefighters with the City of Whitehorse and a three-person crew with Wildland Fire Management, helped put out the fire before it spread to the surrounding forest.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the fire was caused by two campfires that were abandoned and not properly extinguished. It's reminding the public that open campfires are not permitted within the City of Whitehorse.