Wildfire ZF011 burns next to Yellow Dog Lodge, north of Yellowknife, in an image submitted by Gord Gin.
The NWT government has issued an evacuation alert for people with homes or cabins on the north shores of Prosperous Lake and Prelude Lake, and anywhere on River Lake.
Be ready to leave no later than 8am on Monday, NWT Fire told residents of those areas.
“We are issuing this alert as a heavy wind event is expected from the northwest beginning Monday,” the wildfire agency stated, forecasting gusts of up to 45 km/h that are expected to push fire ZF011 to the south and east.
An evacuation order could follow, NWT Fire added, “dependent on weather conditions and success of firefighting activities today and tomorrow.”
Normally, municipalities issue evacuation alerts and orders. However, as those areas don’t fall under any municipality, the responsibility lies with the GNWT.
“We do not expect the fire to reach the Ingraham Trail or any territorial parks in the near term. However, it is important to know things can change and to be prepared,” NWT Fire stated.
“Our team will work hard to limit growth in this direction – with air tankers and helicopters making drops on targets to slow growth as heavy smoke clears enough to allow missions. However, your safety must be number one – and we’re taking no chances.”
Elsewhere, the Behchokǫ̀ fire west of Yellowknife remained 35 km away at its closest point. A controlled burn to remove fuel between the fire and the city went well this week, and Highway 3 remained open for most of Saturday.
Fire ZF085 remained 29 km southeast of Dettah, seven km from Jennejohn Lake’s southern edge. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation is working on precautionary sprinkler lines and other protections.
Dettah’s Chief Drygeese Centre will host a community consultation about the response to fire ZF085 at 3pm (revised from 2pm) on Sunday. The Yellowknives Dene First Nation’s chiefs and GNWT wildfire information officers will be there.