NWT records first wildfire reports of 2019 – in January

The Northwest Territories already has its first reported wildfires of 2019, less than two weeks into January.

While much of the territory shivers in temperatures below minus-30, several reports of wildfires have been documented near Fort Liard.

“There have been three reports of person-caused wildfires in the Fort Liard area in the last week,” a wildfire information Facebook page owned by the territorial government posted on Wednesday.


The territory said the fires had been caused by abandoned campfires.

“January may not seem like the time to worry about fires, but the Fort Liard area is still extremely dry from a lack of fall precipitation,” the Facebook post added.

“In these conditions, fire can get into the duff layer in the ground and smoulder over winter. These fires can then pop back up in the spring when conditions warm up.”

The fires appear to have been small in size, with no reports of any damage. They did not register on satellite maps which track annual wildfire activity across Canada.

While Fort Liard endured a low of minus-42 on Wednesday, temperatures at the start of the year were significantly higher.


The community enjoyed a high of five degrees on January 2.

Residents are asked to ensure their campfires are completely out, even in winter, before leaving.