Yukon recalls fire crews from B.C.
Yukon forest fire officials have ordered their firefighters and air tanker crews to come back from British Columbia, where they had been helping battle wildfires last week.
An anticipated hot and dry spell has raised fire danger ratings in some Yukon districts this week, prompting officials to recall their fire crews just in case, Yukon forest information officer George Maratos said.
"Given the forecast here in the territory — hot and dry conditions — the decision was made to recall the resources that we had sent down to British Columbia," Maratos told CBC News on Tuesday.
Maratos said B.C. fire crews have received help from Ontario, Alberta and other jurisdictions that have not had as many forest fires so far this season.
"Our situation has become quite intense here in a quick manner, so it's fortunate that we are able to recall them so quickly," he said.
A total of 78 forest fires have been reported in the Yukon so far this season, burning more than 145,000 hectares of forest.
Meanwhile, Maratos warned Yukoners and tourists to avoid an 11,000-hectare forest fire that continues to burn aggressively along the Stewart Cassiar Highway (B.C. Highway 37), just south of the Yukon-B.C. border.
While the highway remains closed, B.C. forestry and highways officials escorted a convoy of motorists through the smoke and flames on Tuesday morning.
Still, Maratos said travellers should not count on being able to drive along the Stewart Cassiar Highway for the time being.