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Reinforcements head to Sambaa K’e as nearby fire burns 100,000 hectares

Tyler Jumbo submitted this photo of fire FS001 seen from Sambaa K'e on the evening of May 27, 2023
Tyler Jumbo submitted this photo of fire FS001 seen from Sambaa K'e on the evening of May 27, 2023.


The NWT government is sending more people to guard against a large and growing wildfire burning south of the Dehcho community of Sambaa K’e.

As of Sunday, the territory’s wildfire agency estimated that fire FS001, straddling the NWT-BC border, had burned 98,000 hectares of land and is “expected to continue to grow.”

The territory stated the fire is around 40 km from Sambaa K’e.



Satellite data suggests the fire made a significant leap to the east in the past 24 hours and may also have pushed fractionally north toward Sambaa K’e, though the NWT government made no suggestion that the community of around 100 people is in imminent danger.

The territory said it was sending a “values protection specialist” to Sambaa K’e “along with additional resources to assess and monitor the situation.”

Crews are working with the community to build safeguards against the fire, the GNWT added in a Sunday afternoon update.

Elsewhere, two large wildfires in the South Slave – near the NWT-Alberta border – are reported to have merged.



The GNWT estimates the combined fire, at Dogface Lake, to have now burned more than 50,000 hectares.

Several other fires continue to burn in the Dehcho, around the northeastern edge of the Nahanni National Park Reserve. There are no active fires in the North Slave, Sahtu or Beaufort Delta.

The territorial government said it was working on an updated overall figure for the area burned in the NWT to date.

Even the provisional early Sunday figure of 70,000 hectares burned represents a figure the NWT did not hit until July in either 2021 or 2022.