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Yellowknife, Dehcho region see dry conditions as N.W.T. fire season begins

Areas between Yellowknife and Fort Liard in the N.W.T.'s Dehcho region have "ground conditions that are relatively dry" as the N.W.T. fire season gets underway, according to the territory's manager of fire operations.

All N.W.T. fire crews to be on deck by Victoria Day long weekend

There were 245 fires in the N.W.T. in 2015 covering more than 600,000 hectares, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (Courtesy of NWT Fire )

Areas between Yellowknife and Fort Liard in the N.W.T.'s Dehcho region have "ground conditions that are relatively dry" as the N.W.T. fire season gets underway, according to the territory's manager of fire operations.

"Overall, throughout a large part of the N.W.T., we've seen average to above average temperatures," said Richard Olsen during a teleconference Thursday afternoon from his office in Fort Smith.

"We're still looking for a continuation of normal to above normal temperatures through May into June."

But that could be counterbalanced by some helpful rain, he added.  

"[There are] some indications that the amount of precipitation might be a little more than we experienced last year."

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources' fire season website, www.nwtfire.com, says there are no active fires in the N.W.T. right now. 

A map on that website that will show the location of active fires should be launched within a week. 

2015 was second biggest fire season in decade

Firefighting crews stationed in Fort Smith and Fort Providence will begin their spring "refresher" training next week, with crews in more northerly parts of the territory receiving the same training over the coming weeks, said Olsen. 

Overall the territory will have 144 firefighters at its disposal this summer, with another 140 seasonal staffers (fire technicians, warehouse workers) on hand as well.

"We expect that our full amount of fire crews will be on staff by just after the [Victoria Day] long weekend in May," said Olsen.

There were 245 fires in the territory last year, burning more than 600,000 hectares of land. That's the second highest amount of land affected by fires in the territory since 2005. 

The N.W.T.'s worst fire year on record, 2014, saw 385 fires burn more than 3.4 million hectares. 

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