Wildfires burn southeast of Wrigley, which can be seen at the top of this Sentinel-2 satellite image, on August 17, 2022.
Smoke is complicating firefighters’ response to a wildfire outside Wrigley, the territorial government says.
Smoke from fire FS030 has affected visibility and hampered efforts to extend a firebreak, the territory’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said in a Wednesday evening update.
“We are evaluating putting up new control lines near the community. There is still no danger to the community, but that could change quickly with the difficult conditions we are facing,” the territorial government stated.
Community leaders said an evacuation plan is in place if needed that relies on road transport out to safety. Relations with the NWT government were said to have significantly improved since initial efforts at drawing up such a plan for Wrigley earlier this summer.
Rain is forecast for at least some periods over the next three days, which may aid fire crews’ efforts to contain the fire.
A new fire has been reported some 30 km southeast of Jean Marie River and 10 km north of Highway 1. No buildings or infrastructure are currently at risk and the fire is being monitored.
Another fire 15 km from the intersection of Highway 5 and Highway 6 “is now contained,” the territory said.
Elsewhere in the South Slave, ENR said rain had limited the growth of SS069, a fire 40 km northeast of Fort Smith that has already triggered an evacuation at the NWT Power Corporation’s Taltson Dam.
“Several cabins under threat have been protected with sprinkler kits,” the department stated. “Heavy smoke will be seen in Fort Smith, but the community is not at threat.”
Caitrin Pilkington contributed reporting.
Update: August 24, 2022 – 19:20 MT. Our initial report was based on the territory’s French-language update for the day. However, the English-language update contains different wording and, notably, an entirely different assessment of fire SS069 outside Fort Smith. Where the French-language version reported what translates to “strong growth” of the fire, the English-language version states rain limited the fire’s growth. We are told the English-language version is correct and have updated this report.