Fire ban lifted across Yukon, remains in effect for Kluane National Park and Reserve
Open burns now permitted, although burn permits required
The Yukon government has ended a general open fire ban in place since July 8.
Open fires are now permitted in all Yukon fire management areas across the territory where conditions allow. Fire bans remain in effect throughout the Kluane National Park and Reserve system according to the park's Twitter feed.
Holders of a Yukon burn permit still need to check in with local fire centres to activate their permits. This process ensures no burns start unless the fire danger rating is considered low. Permits are not valid if the fire danger rating is moderate or higher. There are no permits required for campfires.
Yukon fire information officer Mike Fancie said the past weekend's rainfall along with forecasted wet conditions prompted the decision to lift the ban.
"With this cooler, wetter weather, there's a decrease in fire activity," Fancie said.
This is a marked improvement over conditions forest wildfire fighters had been dealing with until now.
"Over the past few weeks, the weather has been hot and dry," said Fancie. "Many of the wildfires we have been working on — especially in places like the Klondike Gold field — have been quite extreme and … there's only so much people can do to stop those fires."
The recent wet weather has allowed firefighters to "push into" existing wildfires, he said.
According to a press release Tuesday, wildfire activity in Yukon has been above average this year, with 72 fires burning 203,078 hectares, compared to a 10-year average of 162,367 hectares affected by 109 wildfires. About four out of 10 wildfires this year have been human-caused, up from the 10-year average of 27 per cent being human-caused.
According to the July 16 Yukon wildland fire activity report, two new lightning-caused fires were reported on Monday. One near the Dawson Fire Centre, estimated to be about 0.1 hectares, is being fought. A 10 hectare fire northeast of Mayo in the Kathleen Lakes area is being monitored.
With files from Dave Croft