An airtanker drops water over the east end of wildfire ZF015 near Behchokǫ̀ on August 2, 2023. Photo: GNWT
Home and cabin owners in and around Boundary Creek, on Highway 3 west of Yellowknife, are now being told to leave the area because of a nearby wildfire.
“Leave now,” people between kilometres 284 and 306 of the highway were told shortly before 6pm on Friday. The entirety of Highway 3 remains open to traffic.
“The fire is most active to the north of Highway 3. It has not crossed any new sections of highway. Our assessment is that this fire will likely not reach Highway 3 or Boundary Creek tonight,” wildfire information officer Mike Westwick wrote.
“However, with extremely high winds expected to reach their peak later tonight, and the wind shifts we have experienced while responding to this incident, we are taking no chances and advise individuals in the area to leave immediately.”
Westwick said air tankers had attacked the fire throughout the day in an attempt to reduce its intensity and slow its growth toward Yellowknife. He estimated the fire, labelled ZF015 by NWT Fire, to be 40 km northwest of the city as of 6pm.
“Crews were unable to attack the fire directly and had to pull back on the east side for safety reasons,” he wrote.
A further update is expected at or shortly after 8pm.
The fire “is expected to grow further tonight as the peak burning day continues,” Westwick stated, but he added: “We will reiterate: the City of Yellowknife is not currently at threat due to this wildfire.”