People start three South Slave wildfires, air tankers called
Three new person-caused wildfires have appeared in the NWT’s South Slave in the past two days, officials said on Monday.
One fire erupted at the abandoned former mining community of Pine Point, while two more began outside Fort Smith.
A fire at Fort Smith’s landfill site is under control, according to the territorial government’s weekly update on NWT wildfires.
A fire in the Foxholes area outside the community is “being held” after air tankers were called in on Sunday evening. One fire crew is still working on the blaze.
The Pine Point fire, an escaped campfire, is now out.
In a statement on Monday, the territorial Department of Environment and Natural Resources said the fire danger throughout the South Slave and Dehcho is currently assessed as high or extreme.
Many residents spent time at campgrounds across the southern regions of the territory to celebrate the May Long weekend. The territory urged campers to take great care.
“Please use extreme caution with campfires, if they are necessary for cooking or keeping warm,” the department warned. “Burn permits are required for any fire other than cooking or warmth.
“Do not leave ANY fire unattended, even if you are camping in a Territorial Park. Make sure your fire is completely out before you leave it. Soak the ashes, stir them, and soak them again.
“Do not let carelessness be the cause of a wildland fire.”
News of fresh wildfires in the South Slave comes at a time when residents are already watching anxiously as the northern Alberta town of High Level copes with a nearby fire.
As of 3pm MT on Monday, High Level was under evacuation alert with Hay River, NWT preparing to possibly receive evacuees should the situation worsen.
The highway south of High Level has been closed by the fire, with several travelling NWT residents sharing photos as they made their way home past the community before the closure took effect.