An evacuation order issued for some people living along Highway 3 has been expanded as a nearby wildfire moves closer to the road.
Residents of cabins and homes between kilometres 256 and 290 of the highway, between Behchokǫ̀ and Yellowknife, are now being told to leave.
Previously, the evacuation order spanned kilometres 276 to 290. A second emergency alert in two days was issued to phones in the region just before 7:45pm on Saturday.
The area has been extended “due to the head of the fire expanding further than km 276 towards Behchokǫ̀,” said the NWT’s wildfire agency. On Facebook, the agency said other factors included the fire’s proximity to the highway and the risk associated with planned burns to reduce the chance of the fire reaching Behchokǫ̀.
“Behchokǫ̀ and Yellowknife are not currently at risk,” the agency stated.
Fire ZF015, caused by lightning at the end of June, had burned approximately 27,598 hectares when it was last mapped.
The fire has not yet reached Highway 3, the territory’s wildfire agency said, and south winds on Saturday had helped to slow its progression.
A controlled burn being planned west of the Stagg River will “remove vegetation in the way of the fire and slow progression towards Behchokǫ̀,” the agency stated, if conditions are right for the work to go ahead. Drivers can expect to see heavy smoke if that happens.