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Yukon's internet, cellphone service at risk from Watson Lake-area fire

Internet and cellular phone service to all of Yukon, and internet service to N.W.T.'s Mackenzie Delta, could be threatened by a forest fire burning near Watson Lake, says Northwestel.

Internet service to N.W.T.'s Mackenzie Delta communities could also be affected, says Northwestel

Northwestel says internet and cellular phone service to all of Yukon is at risk due to a forest fire burning near a fibre optic line near Watson Lake.

Internet and cellular phone service to all of Yukon is being threatened by a forest fire burning 72 kilometres east of Watson Lake, says Northwestel.

Internet service to the N.W.T. communities of Fort McPherson, Tsiigehtchic, Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk is also at risk.

The fire is threatening Northwestel's Yukon fibre optic line.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says the fire is about 3.5 kilometres from the Alaska Highway and the fibre line, but is currently moving away from the fibre line.

If the fibre connection is lost, Northwestel says it has limited data bandwidth over its radio network, which will be prioritized for emergency services.

Northwestel says landline telephone service should not be affected even if the fibre connection is lost.

The company says it's working with firefighting services to protect the fibre network.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says 25 firefighters and five helicopters are working on the fire and rain is in the forecast, which should reduce fire activity.

Smoky conditions are expected in Watson Lake today.

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