A submitted photo of an area burned by the Behchokǫ̀ wildfire on July 26, 2023.
The Northwest Territories wildfire agency says 19 structures have been destroyed by a wildfire burning in and near Behchokǫ̀.
In a Monday morning update, NWT Fire said an assessment was completed along Highway 3, where the fire, labelled ZF015, was quickly pushed by easterly winds early last week and burned 15 structures. It reached Rae overnight on July 25, where it destroyed four homes.
“This is a serious loss for many and our hearts go out to everyone effected,” the update stated.
The territorial government said people who have lost property are being informed this week. It said staff will discuss financial assistance that may be available to those who use their home or cabin for traditional practices.
NWT Fire said 48 structures were saved from the out-of-control wildfire by sprinklers and specialized gel.
Residents of Edzo are allowed to return on Monday but will remain on evacuation alert. People are not yet able to return to Rae or Frank Channel.
ZF015 was last mapped at 113,097 hectares. It is currently burning four kilometres east of Edzo and 45 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife.
NWT Fire said with north winds and a chance of rain, as well as recent rainfall, fire growth is not expected on Monday.
Crews plan to secure perimeters around Rae and Frank Channel and work to protect against potential future risk to Yellowknife, which NWT Fire said is not currently at risk.