Lightning struck near a Northwestel tower in the vicinity of Prelude Lake on Thursday afternoon, starting a fire that was contained soon after it began.
A Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) spokesperson confirmed the fire is currently half a hectare in size.
Images shared on Facebook appear to show the fire close to cabins located around the lake.
Dan Hosfeld, who lives at Prelude, was the first to respond to the fire along with his brother, nephew, and nephew’s friend, who were all visiting from Ontario.
“We were up on the roof working on the solar when we saw the lightning hit. Shortly after, we started seeing smoke … and it was burning,” Hosfeld told Cabin Radio.
They called Yellowknife’s fire department, who in turn called ENR. In the meantime, Hosfeld and his family didn’t want to wait.
“We had no choice but to grab shovels and an axe and went around putting it out,” he said. “We were the only ones there.”
Hosfeld said the fire is out, but still smouldering.
He estimated the fire was just 1,000 feet, or 300 metres, from the closest cabin.
A fire at the base of a Northwestel tower near Prelude Lake. Photo: Dan Hosfeld
A fire crew and forest officer are now on site. ENR reports the fire is being contained.
“Favourable weather conditions are currently assisting,” wrote the department. Heavy rain accompanied lightning storms in the area around Yellowknife on Thursday afternoon.
NWT Parks estimated the fire was about three kilometres west of Prelude Lake Territorial Park.
“The rain seemed to have doused the fire soon after it started,” an NWT Parks spokesperson wrote, noting it had not affected park operations.
Northwestel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.