NWT prepares for northern Alberta wildfire to cross border

Authorities in the South Slave are readying for an out-of-control northern Alberta wildfire to cross the border as it moves north.

The Jackpot Creek wildfire, which originated near Steen River, continues to grow. Recent maps of the fire’s extent suggest it is within around 20 km of the NWT-Alberta border.

The same wildfire caused the temporary closure of the highway linking the NWT and Alberta last month. A handful of residents in the rural Indian Cabins area, 15 km from the border, were evacuated earlier this week.


On Wednesday, the Alberta government estimated the Jackpot Creek fire at more than 75,000 hectares in size – roughly seven times the size of Yellowknife, by comparison.

“The South Slave region is engaged in planning and structural protection of values-at-risk near the NWT-Alberta border,” the NWT’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources said through its territorial wildfire information page this week.

Enterprise, the nearest NWT community of any significant size north of the border, remains some 100 km away from the fire’s current northern edge.

Meanwhile, a small wildfire broke out on Hay River’s Vale Island on Wednesday.

The fire, caused by lightning, was tackled by an air tanker, helicopter, and fire crew.


“There is no immediate threat to the community,” the department said.

“At this time things are being dealt with appropriately and [there is] no need for evacuation,” the Town of Hay River’s director of protective services, Ross Potter, posted online.