Emergency responders called to Dettah road ‘truck fire’
Emergency responders were called to the Yellowknife-Dettah ice road on Friday after a truck caught fire, witnesses said.
Two residents said a pickup truck taking part in construction of the ice road had been seen to catch fire on Friday afternoon. Photos of the scene showed smoke coming from a truck on the ice road.
Emergency vehicles arrived at the Yellowknife entrance to the ice road, on School Draw Avenue, at around 3pm on Friday. Municipal enforcement officers could be seen directing traffic.
The Department of Infrastructure controls construction of the ice road and related matters. Approached on Friday afternoon for comment, the department had not provided an account of what took place by Saturday afternoon.
However, the department dismissed the suggestion – shared online by some residents – that a vehicle had gone through the ice.
“I can confirm no vehicle went through the ice today,” department spokesperson Darren Campbell said by email late on Friday, adding that more information would follow.
Construction of the road had only begun earlier on Friday, slightly later than is the case in most years – a delay the GNWT had attributed to heavy snow (and its insulating effect on lake ice) and warmer-than-usual conditions over some parts of the holiday period.
The NWT government had said earlier in the week that a minimum ice thickness of 35 centimetres, or 14 inches, was required for construction to begin. Work had been called off over the holidays, the territory added on Wednesday, for safety reasons associated with ice thickness and overflow.