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Hay River declares emergency over landfill fire

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Hay River's town council declared a local state of emergency as a fire at the landfill burned into a second week, sending acrid smoke drifting across the community.

The fire does not pose an immediate risk to the public, the Town of Hay River said in a news release on Sunday evening.

Fire crews are continuing to fight the fire. Town officials asked all non-emergency personnel to avoid the area of the landfill, which has been closed to the public.

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Hay River's fire department has been at the landfill for a week – crews began working last Sunday on what was then a sub-surface fire.

However, the news release stated the fire "flared up" on Saturday evening. Firefighters are now "focusing efforts on a surface fire near the south wall of the landfill."

South winds are helping efforts to tackle the fire, but also blowing smoke over the heart of the community.

Health authority officials had been contacted, said the Town of Hay River, and would advise residents of any concerns regarding air quality. As of 6:20pm on Sunday, March 10, the health authority had not issued any related advisory.

Town authorities have established an incident command centre at Hay River's town hall.

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The Town said garbage pickup will continue as usual.

A map of Hay River shows the community and the location of its landfill
A map of Hay River shows the community and the location of its landfill.