North

Cool, wet weather contributes to slower than normal fire season in N.W.T.

So far, just over 5,000 hectares of land has been burned by fires, compared to an average of 16 times that amount by this time of year.

1 in 4 fires were person caused, and that needs to stop, says N.W.T. fire prevention coordinator

Flames and smoke could be seen on the horizon as a fire began burning near Tsiigehtchic, N.W.T., last month. (Submitted by Melanie Blake)

The Northwest Territories is experiencing a slower than normal fire season.

Fifty-one fires have been reported in the territory this season; 15 are still burning.

So far, just over 5,000 hectares of land has been burned. The average for this time of year is about 16 times that amount at 83,920 hectares.

However, a quarter of all fires in the N.W.T. this season are suspected to have been person caused. Fire officials say the majority of those started from campfires that weren't properly put out.

"People really need to be making sure that they put their campfires out when they're done and making sure that they're completely out," said Amber Simpson, the territory's fire prevention coordinator. 

"Person caused fires are preventable and we want to make sure we're preventing as many of those as we can. The [Department of Environment and Natural Resources] has enough to deal with with all the lightning fires."

Cool, wet weather has brought the fire danger from extreme to low in most of the territory, except in Inuvik and Fort Good Hope where fire danger remains high.

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