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YK fire 15 km away, critical days ahead as wind shifts

A fire situation map of the fire threatening Yellowknife as of August 18. Provided by NWT Fire.


In a Friday update, NWT Fire says ZF015, the fire currently threatening Yellowknife, is 15 km northwest of the city’s municipal boundary, with “critical, challenging days ahead.”

With northwest and west-northwest winds of up to 35km/hr and gusts of up to 50km/hr predicted for the area, NWT Fire says the city is still at imminent risk, with a possibility of the fire reaching its outskirts by the weekend.

A city-wide evacuation is still underway, and any residents left in town are told to leave immediately. For those driving, the highway is still safe, says NWT Fire, and will have patrol vehicles to guide drivers through tough conditions.

Air tankers are continuing to work day and night to slow the fire, and “successful firefighting efforts have held back progression meaningfully over the last two days,” said Friday’s update.



There is a chance the area might get a few millimetres of rain over the next day, but as the wildfire agency said, “we can’t always count on the rain
falling in the right places.”

Structure protection teams are working on Highway 3 to prevent losses. The team is moving closer to Yellowknife every day.

Crews are also building over 10 m of control line west of the city, which includes cutting a line and added fire retardant.

Minimal growth has been detected on fire ZF011 threatening the Ingraham Trail and cabins along Prelude Lake, Prosperous Lake and River Lake.

Residents in these areas are also under evacuation with the possibility of the fire reaching the Ingraham Trail by the weekend. The risk of this has subsided slightly, said NWT Fire, due to successful firefighting efforts.