Yukon's record breaking temperatures enter second week

A heat wave across the Yukon is entering its eighth day with new records set in seven communities Saturday. But the hot, dry weather is contributing to 31 wildfires and has crews on high alert.

Heat wave continues into 8th day with new records set in 7 communities

Families are getting a break from the heat in water play area in Rotary Peace Park, Whitehorse. (Mardy Derby/CBC)

Yukon's hot, dry weather continues to shatters records across the territory as a heat wave enters its second week, keeping fire crews on high alert.

David Millar, a retired meteorologist based in Whitehorse, says temperatures broke records in seven communities Saturday and he expects further records to be set Sunday.

Some records had been in place for more than half a century before temperatures climbed Saturday.

Millar says Whitehorse reached  27.4 C, eclipsing the old record 24.4 C from 1960. Here is the list of records he compiled:

  • Teslin 26.1, old record 23.9 from 1958
  • Haines Junction 26.6, old record 22.8 from 1960
  • Faro 27.4, old record 19.9 from 2008
  • Mayo 28.9, old record 27.2 from 1960
  • Dawson 29.1, old record 26.5 from 2002
  • Beaver Creek with a temperature about 27 degrees broke the old record of 23.0 from 2004

Wildfire warnings

The heat wave is also contributing to extreme fire danger in most of the territory. There are 31 wildfires burning across Yukon. The only areas where fire danger is considered moderate are Old Crow and Teslin. 

Yukon Wildland Fire Management says 72 firefighters from Ontario arrived Saturday and were scheduled to be deployed across the territory Sunday.

In a press release, duty officer Mike Sparks said "the extra staff will be welcome."

Crews are monitoring a fire burning near Open Creek and Teslin River. There's visible smoke around Lake Laberge but "no values are currently at risk." A fire near the Liard River is now covering 500 hectares. 

Across the territory, wildfires have burned 1,300 hectares so far this year. 

A forest fire is burning 30 km east of Lake Laberge, south of the confluence of the Teslin River and Open Creek. This photo was taken Friday afternoon. (Yukon Wildland Fire Management)