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Fort Smith downgrades fire ban and lifts evacuation alert

A backyard fire in Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Residents in Fort Smith can now have fires in approved fire pits, the town announced on Thursday as it ended its evacuation alert.

The town said that while it was lifting the ban, fire restrictions would remain in place in the municipality.

Fires will now be allowed only in fire pits with enclosed sides, made of non-combustible materials that are no more than one metre across, and at least three metres from any building, gas line, property line, overhead wires or trees.

The town said any fires should also be monitored at all times by someone over the age of 19, and people should have water available at all times. No burn permits will be issued for the time being.

The town originally issued a complete fire ban on May 19 due to extreme fire conditions.



The NWT government subsequently installed a fire ban for almost the entire South Slave region in July. That ban, as well as one for the North Slave region, ended last week.

Yellowknife lifted its fire ban earlier this week. As with Fort Smith, fires in the city are currently only allowed in approved fire pits.

A fire ban remains in place for the Town of Hay River.

The Town of Fort Smith also lifted its evacuation alert on Thursday.

An evacuation alert for Yellowknife, Ndılǫ, Dettah, the Ingraham Trail and Highway 3 was lifted on September 20. According to the NWT government, the decision to do so – which was not widely publicized at the time – was made jointly by the territory, city and Yellowknives Dene First Nation.