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N.W.T. closes highways as forest fires intensify

The N.W.T. Department of Transportation closed two highways Saturday as a combination of lightning, hot, dry weather and high winds continued to spark new fires and help existing ones to spread.

Highways 3 and 6 closed to traffic Saturday afternoon

Smoke from a forest fire is visible from the junction of N.W.T. highways 5 and 6 Friday afternoon. Highway 6 to Fort Resolution and Highway 3 between Behchoko and Fort Providence have been closed due to the fire. (submitted by Jodie Miersch)

The N.W.T. Department of Transportation closed two highways Saturday as a combination of lightning, hot, dry weather and high winds continued to spark new fires and help existing ones to spread.

Highway 6, the road to Fort Resolution, closed early Saturday afternoon. A fire burning in the area jumped the highway and campers were being told to evacuate the area.

A short time later, the department closed Highway 3 between Behchoko and Fort Providence. It was not immediately clear when the highways would reopen.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the forest fire danger in the Deh Cho, North Slave and South Slave regions was high to extreme and discouraged people from starting campfires unless necessary.

A total of 28 new fires were reported in the N.W.T. since Friday. All were caused by lightning, an ENR spokesperson said.

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