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Wind shift set to help defend Yellowknife against fire

Fire ZF015 on August 5, 2023. Photo: GNWT
Fire ZF015 on August 5, 2023. Photo: GNWT


A wildfire west of Yellowknife came closer on Saturday but the threat to the city didn’t change, NWT Fire said, and shifting winds should now hold it at bay.

As of 8:30pm on Saturday, fire ZF015 had moved a couple of kilometres closer to Yellowknife – it’s now estimated to be 35 km away.

But the evacuation order for Boundary Creek was downgraded to an alert, air tankers kept the fire back from Highway 3, and the territory’s wildfire agency sounded a note of optimism.

“In holding Highway 3 this evening, and with wind expected to come from the east tomorrow, the immediate risk has been relieved” in the Boundary Creek area, wildfire information officer Mike Westwick wrote.



Sunday’s wind, he added, will “push the fire back into areas which have already burned and away from Yellowknife.”

Westwick stated: “While the smoke columns have been large, the fire has moved closer and the smoke has been heavy, the threat to Yellowknife has not changed.”

In other news on Saturday, the City of Yellowknife said it was beginning work on fire breaks and sprinkler installation. A special council meeting on Tuesday will discuss releasing money to cover such work. (Yellowknife hasn’t done any firesmarting work for the past two years, its mayor said last month.)

Meanwhile, Highway 3 closed for several hours in the afternoon before reopening.

The wildfires north of Yellowknife have not made any recent significant advances toward the city, according to reports provided by NWT Fire.

In Behchokǫ̀, a power outage in Rae on Saturday evening was being addressed by the NWT Power Corporation, which said “additional resources” were being sent to tackle the problem but the time needed to implement a fix was unknown.