Lightning sparks 10 fires across Yukon

Lightning has sparked ten fires across Yukon and fire officials are expecting more activity today. Firefighters are prioritizing their efforts and trying to extinguish fires closest to communities or buildings.

Fires do not immediately threaten any communities

Yukon Wildland Fire Services says a 1.5-hectare fire is burning about 10 kilometres from the Eagle Plains Lodge and another fire is burning 16.5 kilometres from the lodge. Crews are working to extinguish those fires today. (Philippe Morin)


  • The fire ban has been lifted in Kluane National Park as of May 28, 2015.

Lightning has sparked 10 fires across Yukon and fire officials are expecting more activity today. 

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the fires are in the Old Crow, Dawson and Mayo districts. 

The fires do not immediately threaten any communities. However their proximity to some roads and buildings has required firefighters to respond. 

Duty Officer Mike Sparks says he expected the new fires. 

"Given the hot and dry conditions, extreme fire danger rating and the forecast for lightning we anticipated that several new fires would be discovered," he says.

"We will be conducting further patrols today of the areas hit hardest by lightning and expect more fires to be found and that to be the case through the week with more lightning forecast."

New fires in Dawson district, Old Crow

Aerial patrols discovered six new fires in the Dawson district on May 19.

The largest is estimated at about a third of a hectare. It is burning about three kilometres west of the Dempster Highway and five kilometres north of a highway maintenance camp.

While that fire is being monitored, Yukon Wildland Fire Management says others are "burning in remote areas with no values currently at risk."

In the Old Crow district three new fires were detected. Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the most notable of those fires is a 1.5 hectare fire burning about 10 kilometres from Eagle Plains Lodge.

Firefighters are trying to extinguish that fire while also keeping an eye on another fire, burning about 16.5 kilometres from Eagle Plains Lodge. 

The Mayo district's first fire of the season is burning 50 kilometres east of Mayo, near Mayo Lake. 

According to Yukon Wildland Fire Management, air tankers and a helicopter are supporting firefighters on the ground to fight a 0.7 hectare fire. That work is expected to continue today. 

15 fires so far

A fire near the Klondike Highway, near Dawson City, has receded slightly. It is now estimated at 37.5 hectares, reduced from a previous estimate of 48 hectares.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says hot spots have been flaring up, given the hot and dry conditions and the low relative humidity. It says extinguishing those flare ups will be the priority today.

The latest fire activity brings Yukon's total this season to 15 fires, burning approximately 276 hectares.

Fire conditions are now considered high or extreme in most of Yukon. Most burning permits are suspended. The dry conditions have also forced Parks Canada officials to impose a complete fire ban in Kluane National Park and Reserve.

The ban includes the Kathleen Lake campground and day use area and includes all permanent fire pits and wood stoves used for campfires and cooking.

Parks officials are asking visitors to take every precaution when using personal cook stoves and when disposing of cigarettes. 


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