North

Fire burning, but contained, near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T.

Fire crews near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., are working on one of the community’s first big forest fires of the season about 10 kilometres outside of town.

Warning: Video contains strong language

Flames and smoke could be seen on the horizon Thursday as a fire began burning near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T. (Submitted by Melanie Blake)

Fire crews near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., are working on one of the community's first big forest fires of the season about 10 kilometres south of the town.

Footage captured from a boat on the Arctic Red River Thursday showed smoke and flames rising above the trees.

"I saw the start up of it,' said Tsiigehtchic Chief Phillip Blake, who owns the boat the video was taken from. "I seen some smoke in the air and the fire had just started."   

"We've been getting some good weather for the last couple of weeks. There was a bit of wind drying up the forest," Black said. "With no rain, that makes things dry I guess."

This is the first forest fire near the community this fire season, Blake said.

Blake stayed by the fire late Thursday until a fire crew arrived and things "slowed right down." Everyone in Tsiigehtchic is safe and a group of students who were supposed to be camping in the area moved to safety, he said.

Two crews continued working the fire on Friday and have it contained, though it is still about 10 hectares in size, said Judy McLinton, a spokeswoman for the territory's Environment and Natural Resources department. It poses no immediate danger to the community. 

It's suspected that a person caused the fire, McLinton said.

Blake said he wants to remind residents to be safe when lighting fires.

"People need to be thinking 'safety' when they're out on the land and they burn brush," he said. "They need to be aware the wind can change at any time."

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