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Where has the Hay River-KFN fire burned so far?

The southern part of the fire burning near Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Hay River. Mike Westwick/GNWT
The southern part of the fire burning near Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Hay River is seen on May 21, 2023. Mike Westwick/GNWT


The NWT government has begun issuing maps showing fire crews’ best estimate of the area affected by the Hay River-KFN wildfire.

The maps use a highlighted yellow area to indicate the perimeter of the fire. Not everything within that perimeter has necessarily burned. Anything beyond the yellow line, the fire has yet to reach.

We’ll update this page as new perimeter maps are received.



Download: Get the latest fire perimeter map as a PDF

The latest map we have was produced on Monday, May 22.

At that point, the fire was estimated to have burned a total of 3,209 hectares.

The map, produced by the Department of Environment and Climate Change, shows the fire has not yet established any form of foothold across the Hay River in the area of the town.



However, the northwest perimeter of the fire does extend through some portions of the Kátł’odeeche First Nation.

The First Nation has confirmed that its band office is among the buildings burned down by the fire, as were a group home for Elders and a number of private homes.

The fire has yet to reach Highway 5, to the south of the current burn area.

On Sunday, the department said air tankers had focused on slowing the spread of the fire toward the highway, which connects Fort Smith and Fort Resolution to the rest of the highway network.

“In the area between the southeast flank of the fire and Hay River there is continuous forest which, in the current conditions, could burn aggressively and cause the fire to take a large run and spread across the river and Highway 5,” the department stated.

“Until lines are built, strengthened, and held across the southern part of the fire, there will continue to be risk to the communities.”

The progress of the fire can also be seen using imagery from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite program.

The below sequence shows false-colour images designed to highlight areas of heat. The evolving burn area and fire hot spots can be seen moving as the fire develops.