Yukon asks for help as forest fire starts far surpass all of last year
Spokesperson says territory asking for about additional 45 firefighters
Yukon's Wildland Fire Management agency is asking for outside help after almost a dozen new fire starts on Sunday.
That brings the total burning to about 80 fires.
George Maratos, spokeperson for Yukon Wildland Fire Management, says there have already been 123 forest fires in Yukon this season.
That's compared to 32 forest fires during all of last year.
He says damper conditions in the Whitehorse area have lessened the risk and frequency of fire starts there, but the weather has been drier in central and northern Yukon.
All of the new fires on Sunday started in the Dawson, Carmacks and Mayo districts.
Maratos says the most notable is burning 23 kilometres north of Stewart Crossing. It began on Saturday afternoon and is being fought both on the ground and from the air by helicopters and air tankers.
In the Dawson district lightning set off two fires near Henderson Corner, two near the intersection of the North Klondike Highway and the Dempster Highway and one near the Dawson City airport.
Maratos says all five were quickly contained.
He says fires in Yukon and Alaska are responsible for the hazy, smoky skies over much of the territory.