Some NT communities impose fire bans until further notice

Last modified: June 19, 2020 at 7:30pm

Fire bans have been announced for several Northwest Territories communities as the National Indigenous Peoples Day long weekend begins.

Yellowknife residents are under a fire ban effective immediately, the City of Yellowknife announced in a news release on Friday.

The City said the ban on open-air fires within the municipal boundaries was needed “due to very dry conditions with no indication of rain forecast throughout the weekend and into next week.”


The ban prohibits open fires, including the use of approved fire pits.

Camp stoves, enclosed BBQs, and propane cooking or heating devices can still be used.

“They must be placed within regulation fire pits and should not emit a flame more than 0.5 metres in diameter and 0.5 metres in height,” the City stated.

“The open-air burning ban will remain in effect until further notice. The public will be advised of any change in status through Yellowknife media, the City of Yellowknife website, and social media sites.”

The ban applies only to areas within the municipality. As of 1:10pm on Friday, there had been no similar ban issued for territorial parks with the exception of the Fred Henne and Yellowknife River parks, which have bans in place. (You can check the latest advisories on the NWT Parks website.)


A partial fire ban was also announced Friday by the Town of Fort Smith, effective 5:00 p.m. It does not include approved backyard fire pits. All other fires are banned and all previously issued permits are now cancelled.

Daytime highs in Yellowknife are forecast to hover around 24C to 25C for much of the week ahead, with no rain forecast.

The Dehcho region, meanwhile, is under an Environment Canada heat advisory as temperatures hit 30C.

Every community listed on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ wildfire update website had an extreme wildfire risk on Friday, with the exception of Wrigley and Colville Lake (both rated as high, one step below extreme).


The Town of Norman Wells issued a burn advisory earlier this week, stating no burning is permitted during extreme conditions.

A partial fire ban was announced in Hay River on June 4.