A fire reported 12 km south of Inuvik on Friday evening had grown to approximately 254 hectares by Monday afternoon, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) said in a wildfire briefing to media.
So far, prevailing winds have been pushing smoke from the fire away from the town. Inuvik’s air quality index showed a low risk to residents as of Monday afternoon.
“The current wind forecast does not indicate that the town will be exposed. However, that may change,” said Inuvik’s fire department in a Facebook post.
ENR said the cause of the fire has not yet been determined. The fire is 80 percent under control, and the department is hoping it will be 90 percent controlled by Monday night if conditions don’t change.
Six four-person crews are currently fighting the fire, alongside two helicopters and one tanker group.
Some of the work the crews have been doing is to protect structures in the area, such as the Gwich’in Wellness Camp.
A second, smaller fire was reported near Inuvik earlier on Friday. That fire destroyed one building but is now under control.
There are currently 18 active fires in the NWT, ENR said on Sunday. Another 15 fires have been declared out. In total, 5,194 hectares have burned.
Fire danger across most of the NWT is rated at high to extreme.