Wildfire near Dawson City quadruples in size overnight

A wildfire burning near Hunker Creek, about 24 kilometres from Dawson City, has grown from about 75 hectares to more than 300 hectares in the last day.

Fire near Hunker Creek, 24 km from Dawson City, now an estimated 302 hectares

Yukon fire information officer George Maratos hopes the weather will help firefighters get the Hunker Creek blaze under control. The forecast is calling for cooler conditions, with possible rain over the next couple days. (CBC)

A wildfire burning near Hunker Creek, outside Dawson City, has grown to about 302 hectares in size — a sizeable jump since Monday, when it was estimated at about 75 hectares.

"From time to time, you will see fires jump in size. In this case, it was drier and we did get some wind so that's what saw the fire grow the way it did," said Yukon fire information officer George Maratos.

He said there is no immediate threat to any buildings or properties. There is a mining operation about four kilometres away, but Maratos said it is not currently at risk.  

21 firefighters are now at work in the Hunker Creek area, with three helicopters and other heavy equipment also battling the blaze. It's currently the only active wildfire in the territory.

"They're working towards containment, but a fire that size is going to be active for some time," Maratos said.

He said firefighters are hoping for some help from the weather over the next day or two. The forecast for Dawson City is calling for cooler conditions with possible rain through Tuesday and Wednesday, and the fire danger rating for the area is now considered "low."

Thanks to the weather, other regions have also seen fire danger ratings drop a bit since Monday, though areas around Whitehorse, Carmacks and Haines Junction are still considered at "high" risk of wildfire. The Ross River area is still at "extreme" risk.

All burning permits are suspended when the fire danger is deemed "moderate," "high," or "extreme" in an area.  

Several airtankers were due to arrive in Yukon on Tuesday, to be based in Whitehorse through the wildfire season. The territory has contracted the equipment to use as needed.

They'll be doing training exercises over the Whitehorse area on Wednesday.