The First Nation and Hay River were again ordered to evacuate over the weekend due to an approaching wildfire, along with Fort Smith, Enterprise and Jean Marie River.
Officials have said a wildfire that burned through Enterprise on Sunday caused significant structure damage in the community as well as parts of Paradise Gardens, a community between Enterprise and Hay River. A wildfire also damaged the fibre line providing communications services to the South Slave.
A total of eight communities, more than 20 percent of the territory’s population, have been affected by wildfire evacuations in the NWT this year.
Shane Thompson, the territory’s environment and community affairs minister, has said this year’s wildfire season will cost more than the $56.1 million the territory spent in 2014 during the NWT’s infamous “summer of smoke.”
He said on Monday the territory did not need to call a state of emergency as it had the “necessary relationships” to get the resources it needs to address the wildfire situation.
“All it has been is a phone call and they’ve been able to do it,” he said.
Firefighters from Yukon, Alberta, Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Alaska and South Africa have helped with fire fighting efforts in the territory. More than 100 soldiers from the Canadian Armed Forces arrived in the NWT on Monday night to also assist with wildfire efforts.
A total of 268 wildfires have burned more than 2.1 million hectares in the territory this year so far, 236 of which are still actively burning.
Several of those wildfires have destroyed cabins, homes and other buildings.