Fort Smith had its hottest day in 80 years: preliminary data

Preliminary data from Environment Canada shows Fort Smith, N.W.T., hit 39.9 C on Wednesday, breaking 1941 record.

Preliminary data from Environment Canada shows Fort Smith, N.W.T., hit 39.9 C Wednesday, breaking 1941 record

According to preliminary data from Environment Canada, Fort Smith, N.W.T., has broken a heat record almost 80 years old. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)

Fort Smith, N.W.T., broke a heat record almost 80 years old Wednesday afternoon, according to preliminary data.

Environment Canada reports that the thermometer hit 39.9 C Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The previous hottest day in Fort Smith was on July 18, 1941. Temperatures that day reached 39.4 C, which then stood as the highest recorded temperature in the N.W.T. according to Northwest Territories Tourism.

The Fort Smith weather station that recorded the temperature is at the community airport. The data is automatically generated and so not official until confirmed by Environment Canada.

Fort Smith is in the southeast portion of the Northwest Territories near the Alberta border and north of the 60th parallel.

On Monday Nahanni Butte, in the southwest portion of the territory, broke a local heat record as well when it reached 38.1 C.

The extreme heat brings with it extreme fire danger. 

According to the territorial Department of Environment, fire danger is rated high to extreme across the South Slave region. Anyone planning a fire is asked to keep it small. 

There are currently no wildfires in the region, but there are 11 active fires across the N.W.T. affecting more than 7,500 hectares.