The "Welcome to Enterprise" sign still stands amid burnt trees. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Highway 1 is expected to close at short notice between Enterprise and Kakisa, the NWT government said on Sunday, blaming a nearby wildfire.
An initial closure, announced just after 6pm, affected kilometres 87 to 168 of the highway. The highway reopened shortly afterward but the Department of Infrastructure said repeated, brief closures were likely.
“It is expected that Highway 1 may open and close frequently tonight,” a departmental spokesperson told Cabin Radio by email.
“Residents and those travelling in the area should be aware that conditions can change quickly with little to no warning … highway staff are monitoring this closely.”
Satellite hot-spot data suggested the presence of a heat signature near Heart Lake, roughly halfway between the two communities.
Any closure of that stretch cuts off road access from Yellowknife to Alberta, though few people are understood to still be fleeing the city by road.
More than 19,000 people left the city between Wednesday and Friday, with some essential workers gradually vacating Yellowknife since.
Hay River RCMP, meanwhile, reported a loss of phone service on Sunday afternoon.
“Both the non-emergency and emergency line are not working at this time. The issue is being looked into but there is no estimated time for repair,” police stated.
Anyone who requires Hay River RCMP is asked to call Yellowknife RCMP at 867-669-1111.
“Please tell the dispatcher at the beginning or your call that it relates to a Hay River matter so our dispatchers can direct the appropriate resources,” police asked.