Wildfire triggers evacuation of Taltson dam area
A 9,000-hectare wildfire northeast of Fort Smith has triggered a limited evacuation of people around the nearby Taltson hydro dam.
Satellite imagery showed the burn area of fire SS069 had by Saturday moved within five to eight kilometres of the airstrip at the Taltson dam facility.
There was no suggestion from the NWT Power Corporation, which operates the dam, of any disruption to power generation.
However, the NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said an unspecified number of people were “being evacuated from the Taltson dam area out of an abundance of caution.”
The fire is by no means the largest in the NWT this season – two fires still considered out of control have burned more than 40,000 hectares each since June, one south of Great Bear Lake and the other east of Highway 3 on Great Slave Lake’s North Arm.
However, SS069 is considered particularly smoky. “Shifting winds may mean high smoke levels in Fort Smith,” ENR’s website stated on Sunday evening.
There is no threat to the community, the department added.
A hot, dry week is forecast in the Fort Smith region, with daily highs above 30C possible on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
“Record-breaking heat is expected to return with the new week, increasing fire activity and risk across much of the territory,” ENR stated.