North

Out of town fire crews pull out of Fort Good Hope as danger subsides

The west side of a nearby fire is now secure and not posing a threat to the community, according to Amber Simpson, wildland fire prevention coordinator for Environment and Natural Resources.

The west side of a nearby fire is now secure and not posing a threat to the community: ENR

A photo of burned out forest near Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., shared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Monday. (Submitted by ENR/GNWT)

Fire crews started leaving Fort Good Hope Monday.

The west side of a nearby fire is now secure and not posing a threat to the community, Amber Simpson, wildland fire prevention coordinator for Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), said Monday.

The community declared a local state of emergency almost two weeks ago. They will have to decide this week if they will re-declare the local state of emergency, according to the band office.

A fire started by lightning on July 3 is 20 kilometres east the community and was over 17,000 hectares as of Monday, according to ENR, but there is no longer an immediate threat.

"Local crews will continue with firesmart work for values protection," said Simpson.

Last week crews set up sprinklers by houses, removed fuels like dry plants, and launched a burnout operation on Fort Good Hope's winter road, approximately 10 kilometres east of the community.

Local smoke appears to have cleared in the community. Environment Canada is forecasting rain on Friday and Saturday.

Fire danger in the Sahtu

The Sahtu region has had 30 fires this year, and the fire danger rating remains high.

There is a fire burning 30 kilometres northeast of Colville Lake, where sprinklers are being set up near some cabins.

Yellowknife, though far from any serious fires, could see smoke blown in from surrounding fires.

"You'll likely experience drifting smoke from upwards of 1,000 kilometres away, even stuff from up in the Sahtu all the way down to the stuff in B.C.," said Richard Olsen, ENR's manager of fire operations. "Nothing we have forecast locally that's really going to bring in the thick heavy smoke and make breathing too much of a difficulty."

In all, 106 fires this year have affected over 114,000 hectares of land. Sixteen of those were caused by people. Thirty-nine new fires were started by lightning last week.

Forty-nine fire are being monitored for values protection while 50 have been declared out. There are six out of control fires and one under control.

  • Dehcho Region: 14 fires this year affecting 264 hectares.
  • South Slave Region: 20 fires this year affecting 9,273 hectares.
  • North Slave Region: 27 fires this year affecting 14,034 hectares.
  • Sahtu Region: 30 fires this year affecting 84,663 hectares.
  • Inuvik Region: 15 fires this year affecting 6,589 hectares.

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