A tanker drops fire retardant on wildfire ZF-024, northwest of Yellowknife, in July 2019. Photo: NWT government
The Northwest Territories has sent air tankers to Manitoba as the province battles more than 120 wildfires.
On Monday, a spokesperson for the territory’s wildfire management team confirmed the assignment and said the NWT remained “in regular communication with other jurisdictions in Canada.” The territory had previously been keeping resources at home as the NWT’s own wildfires grew, particularly in the Dehcho.
The NWT would have to see 70 more fires in the next two weeks to match the 20-year average of 186 fires by August 10.
July, however, has seen several of the 2021 season’s largest fires so far, including one that destroyed two cabins in the Dehcho.
As of Monday there were 66 active wildfires in the territory and a total for the season of 115.
Elsewhere in Canada, record-breaking heat and droughts have led to a busy 2021 season and large-scale evacuations. According to the latest national report, more than 4,900 wildfires have so far been reported across Canada.
As of Monday, there were 254 active wildfires burning in BC, 14 of which were reported in the last 48 hours, according to the most recent data. As of Sunday, 58 evacuation orders and 81 evacuation alerts had been issued in the province, affecting almost 22,000 properties.
Ontario has seen 918 wildfires, almost double the provincial total for 2020 (465) and the 10-year average (526). As of July 22, more than 3,100 people from five First Nation communities were affected by wildfire-related evacuations.
As of Sunday, 128 active wildfires were reported in Manitoba’s latest fire situation report. Six First Nations and three other northern Manitoba communities had been evacuated or were in the process of being evacuated as of July 23.