N.W.T. fire update: Reid Lake fire jumps Ingraham Trail

Though cabins at Reid Lake have been successfully protected from a nearby wildfire, more of the Ingraham Trail was closed Friday as fire crews continued to battle the blaze. Highway 3, between Behchoko and Fort Providence, was also closed Friday afternoon as crews conducted a controlled burn.

More of Highway 4 closed, Highway 3 closed Friday afternoon for controlled burn

Smoke from the Reid Lake fire is visible from Yellowknife Thursday afternoon. Firefighters were successful in protecting cabins near Reid Lake from the fire, but have closed more of the Ingraham Trail after the fire jumped the highway. (Hilary Bird/CBC)

More of the Ingraham Trail, near Yellowknife, is currently closed due to a wildfire burning in the area.

Yesterday, N.W.T. fire crews were successful in protecting cabins near Reid Lake from a wildfire. Due to the close proximity of the fire to the Ingraham Trail, the highway was closed from the Reid Lake campground to Tibbitt Lake.

Despite the success of the operation, the wildfire jumped the highway near the Bull Moose Turnoff, which forced fire crews to move the highway closure to the Cameron River day use area, about seven kilometres further up the highway.

"The fire did jump north of Highway 4 [Ingraham Trail]," said territorial duty officer Mike Gravel. "We are currently taking action on the area that jumped over the highway, and we're making good progress in that area."

While no cabins are in immediate danger, the wildfire burning near Reid Lake has grown by 50 square kilometres since yesterday, Gravel said.

Highway 3 closed due to controlled burn

The territorial government closed Highway 3 between Behchoko and Fort Providence this afternoon in order to conduct a controlled burn in the area. The burn is intended to stop a nearby wildfire from crossing the highway, said Gravel, and Highway 3 is expected to re-open this evening.

"If we didn't do this operation, there's a good chance that the road could be closed for days, because the fire would be in that area for a number of days," he said. "It's a preventative operation."

Gravel said 11 new fires in the territory have started over the past week, most in the North Slave region, where conditions remain hot and dry.

One of those fires, near Fort Providence, was caused by people, Gravel said, due to an errant cigarette butt.

Gravel stressed the importance of being especially careful during the summer, where the dry conditions can cause fires to start very quickly.

"The person-caused fires cause us grief," he said, "because they're close to communities, and they're obviously preventable."


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