Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.

Wildfire no closer to Yellowknife, could move up to five kilometres

A map shows satellite imagery of burned areas and hot spots of wildfire ZF015 on August 16, 2023.


The Northwest Territories wildfire agency says a wildfire burning to the west of Yellowknife did not move closer to the city over Tuesday night but winds could push it up to five kilometres east on Wednesday.

In an update issued shortly before noon on Wednesday, NWT Fire said wildfire ZF015 is burning 17 kilometres northwest of the city at its closest point, one kilometre further from Yellowknife than it reported on Tuesday night.

“Today will be an extremely challenging day,” the update states. “West winds sustained 20-25km/h gusting 30-35km/h and continued dry conditions will drive severe fire activity – likely causing meaningful progression to the east of the fire.”

The agency said due to anticipated winds, the fire will likely reach Highway 3 Thursday. It said a wind shift is expected on Thursday that should slow the fire’s progression to the east but could push it toward the highway.



NWT Fire added there is a chance that, if it doesn’t rain, the fire could reach the outskirts of Yellowknife by the weekend. It said while rain has been forecasted, it is not a guarantee.

An evacuation order for a stretch of Highway 3 was extended to the municipal boundary on Wednesday morning.

NWT Fire said crews are continuing to hit the east end of the fire with airtankers “as much as visibility allows.” The city is also continuing work to create fire breaks and set up sprinklers in areas of Yellowknife most at risk.

Meanwhile, NWT Fire said fire ZF011 the Ingraham Trail wildfire had grown significantly to the south past drainage, despite the action of airtankers on Tuesday.



The agency said an evacuation alert for cabin and home owners on River Lake and the north shores of Prelude Lake and Prosperous Lake will likely be upgraded to an evacuation order no later than Thursday morning. North winds are expected to push the fire to that are by Thursday.

NWT Fire said there is no threat to the Ingraham Trail but, without rain, the fire could reach the area by Friday.

Aircraft will continue to complete drops Wednesday to slow the fire’s growth to the south, the agency said, and structure protection is underway.