Almost all Kakisa, N.W.T. residents evacuated to Hay River

People who stayed in Kakisa, N.W.T. after most of the community evacuated Friday because of smoke from a nearby forest fire, plan on leaving the community Sunday and heading to Hay River, where most other residents are staying.

Most community members evacuated Friday because of smoke from a nearby forest fire

The people who stayed behind after most of Kakisa, N.W.T. evacuated due to smoke from a forest fire burning nearby, are planning on leaving the community Sunday. 

The majority of the residents — approximately 50 — left the community Friday after the Department of Environment and Natural Resources asked them to voluntarily evacuate as a precautionary measure.

At least six people, including Chief Lloyd Chicot, stayed behind, looking after equipment and taking care of pets that residents couldn't take with them.

Now, Chicot says those remaining people are planning on leaving the hamlet. He says conditions are still very smokey and hot in Kakisa.

The 33,000-hectare fire is seven kilometres from the community and has been burning since earlier this month. 

Most residents have gone to Hay River, and they are being asked to register at Hay River's fire hall, so that everyone is accounted for. Some Kakisa residents have also gone to Fort Providence. 

​Lady Evelyn Falls Territorial Park and campground near Kakisa is closed due to smoke. NWT Parks says the closure will be re-evaluated on July 1.

Smoke is also reducing visibility on Highway 1 near kilometre 158 between Enterprise and Kakisa. The highway is open but the Department of Transportation says conditions may change on short notice.