NWT’s first 1,000-hectare fire of 2023 is between Kakisa and Sambaa K’e

Last modified: May 13, 2023 at 5:52pm

The Northwest Territories’ first substantial wildfire of the 2023 summer season has broken out between Kakisa and Sambaa K’e, well away from populated areas.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change said the fire, designated SS004, was caused by lightning and is estimated to have burned around 1,000 hectares.

Until its discovery, the territory had so far reported a burn area for the season of 29 hectares from three fires – two near Fort Smith and one brush fire at the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.


The department said SS004, around 100 km west of Kakisa, is being monitored. No cabins, communities or other infrastructure are said to be at risk.

While the NWT’s fourth wildfire of the season is much larger than the previous three, fires in the territory can grow much larger. In 2022, a roughly average season, several fires reached the tens of thousands of hectares.

Alberta currently has three active wildfires that have each burned more than 50,000 hectares.

Meanwhile, some areas of the southern NWT and northern Alberta face heat warnings this weekend.

Environment and Climate Change Canada said Wood Buffalo National Park could expect daytime highs near 30C and overnight lows dropping no lower than 14C this weekend and into Monday.


“Conditions across the territory remain hot and dry, with winds continuing in the Dehcho, South Slave and North Slave throughout the weekend,” the NWT’s wildfire information team reported.