North

Rain in N.W.T. helping manage Wrigley wildfire, Yukon sees 21 more fires in 24 hours

There's relief among community members in Wrigley, N.W.T. after rain dampened a nearby wildfire threatening the community.

The N.W.T. has only seen one new wildfire in the past 24 hours

Smoke from a wildfire last year, which led to the closure of a Highway 1 between Fort Simpson and Wrigley in the N.W.T., can be seen in this shot taken in Fort Simpson on July 9, 2021. (Hannah Paulson/CBC)

Kyle Clillie, the acting band manager in Wrigley, N.W.T., says there's a lot of relief among community members after rain dampened a nearby wildfire threatening the community.

On Thursday, the wildfire was leading to a lot of fear among residents, but N.W.T. fire officials announced Friday afternoon that the rain has assisted crews fighting the fire.

"It remains out-of-control, but we're seeing progress as our team works hard to protect cabins to the north and homes at Willowlake River," N.W.T. Fire wrote in a Facebook post.

While the N.W.T is still coping with 51 active wildfires, there has only been one new fire within the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the Yukon is dealing with over 21 lightning-caused fires in the last 24 hours, particularly around Watson Lake and Mayo, according to an update shared to territory's Facebook page on Saturday. 

This summer the territory has faced 87 total wildfires, according to its website. Some active fires of note include a 12-hectare one west of Mayo. 

"An air tanker group responded immediately and the fire is now contained by retardant," the territory wrote on Saturday.

Firefighters are working to put out a critical fire under one hectare in size southwest of Watson Lake and five kilometres southeast of Upper Liard. Two helicopters came out to put out much of the flames but crews are in the process of containing the fires perimetre, Yukon Protective Services said. 

A fire near the Frances Lake Campground also led to an evacuation notice to any potential campers. 

Officials are now identifying the best way to protect structures near the campground.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Luke Carroll

Reporter

Luke Carroll is a journalist with CBC News in Yellowknife who has previously worked in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Luke is originally from Brockville, Ont., and moved to Yellowknife in May 2020. He can be reached at luke.carroll@cbc.ca.

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