North

Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., safe for now as crews battle 600-hectare fire east of town

Residents of Fort Good Hope N.W.T. are safe for now as crews battle a 600-hectare blase east of the town.

Six firefighting crews, helicopters and water bombers are battling a fire east of Fort Good Hope, N.W.T.

A fire map from the N.W.T. government around 3 p.m. on Friday shows several fires near Fort Good Hope. (NWT Fire Live Map/ENR/GNWT)

People in Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., are watching the wind this evening as a wildfire burns near the community.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources says a six-hundred hectare fire is burning about 30 kilometres east of the town. The fire was started by lightning on July 3.

"We're watching the wind, [and] the band is in touch with ENR out here," said Norman Pierrot, a Fort Good Hope resident and technical advisor on the fire.

"Right now the wind is going in a different direction [away from town]," he said. "But it's hot: 29 C. We're waiting to see what the wind is doing."

He said it looks like the community is safe for now.

"We're not really worried, just making our preparations, preparing for the elders and young infants, there's a lot of smoke coming from across the Mackenzie River"

Smoke is also drifting into the community from two other fires west of the Mackenzie River.

The government reports an ENR fire command team, six fire fighting crews, two helicopters and two air tanker groups have been assigned to battle the blaze, with additional resources being sent in tomorrow.

Emergency plans are in place for young children and elders if the fire comes closer.

The government expects extreme fire weather and conditions over the weekend. Visit www.firesmoke.ca for more information about smoke conditions in the area.

With files from Alex Brockman

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