North

Men spot fire, use axes, shovels, and shoes to fight it outside Yellowknife

A man says he, his brother, his nephew and his nephew’s friend tried to put out a wildfire in the Prelude Lake area in N.W.T. Thursday.

'If you can help without really risking yourself, you try to do that, and that’s what we did'

The four men worked for about an hour and a half to put out the fire in the Prelude Lake area. (Submitted by Dan Hosfeld)

A man says he and three others fought a wildfire in the N.W.T. Thursday.

Dan Hosfeld said he noticed smoke coming from near a cellphone tower in the Prelude Lake area outside Yellowknife after a lightning strike at around 1:30 or 1:45 p.m.

He estimated it would take about 45 minutes for any firefighters in Yellowknife to arrive and, with concern for properties in the area, he and his brother took a fire extinguisher and rode a quad to the scene of the fire.

"It was a little bigger than we thought," said Hosfeld.

He estimated the fire was about a third of an acre in size when they got there, growing to about an acre and a half.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources did not immediately respond to requests for information.

Hosfeld said he and his brother called his nephew and a friend to assist, along with the fire department and the cellphone service provider he believes is responsible for the tower.

Dan Hosfeld said he and his group used their axes, shovels, and shoes to put out the fire. (Submitted by Dan Hosfeld)

They regrouped with shovels and axes, cut down some of the trees and used moss to stop the flames from spreading.

"Basically, you're stepping it out. I think their tennis shoes probably are gonna need to be replaced — all of [ours]," Hosfeld said with a laugh.

He said he believed the fire was out after about an hour and a half. As they were leaving, they saw police had arrived. 

Hosfeld said he's never tried to put out a fire like this before.

"If you can help without really risking yourself, you try to do that, and that's what we did," said Hosfeld.

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