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With Awry Lake fire under control, NWT thanks Ontario crews

A photo shows Ontario firefighters at the Awry Lake fire's base camp
Ontario firefighters at the Awry Lake fire's base camp. Photo: Keith Hartery


The NWT’s fire crews thanked colleagues from Ontario as officials confirmed a wildfire northwest of Yellowknife is now under control.

The Awry Lake fire, which reached just over 4,000 hectares in size, was given the classification “under control” on Sunday – meaning it is being contained within an established perimeter and is not expected to spread.

The fire never came within 40 km of Yellowknife, though at its onset residents had been able to see a large smoke plume in the distance.



Crews from the NWT were helped by five crews from Ontario who arrived on July 25 and remained for a little over a week, providing relief to the territory’s firefighters during a month in which the number of fires jumped.

However, with July’s hot weather a distant memory for many residents, the number and severity of NWT wildfires has dropped significantly.

“Cooler temperatures and wet weather have slowed fires in several parts of the Northwest Territories,” the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said on Tuesday, noting the fire danger rating is low to medium across the territory.

The department extended “a big thank-you to the five crews from Ontario as well as the agency representative that joined us over the last two weeks to bring the Awry Lake wildfire complex under control.”

The smaller Marian Lake wildfire, 12 km north of Behchokǫ̀, is also now under control. Two wildfires that had been burning close to Wekweètì have both been declared out.

A wildfire east of Tsiigehtchic, by far the largest of the territory’s season to date at around 45,000 hectares in size, continues to burn but is nowhere near becoming a threat to the community.