The Northwest Territories government is encouraging residents and cabin owners on the Ingraham Trail to reduce the risks of wildfire damage in the latest edition of its FireSmart Starts in Your Backyard contest.
The contest asks residents to download the FireSmart Begins at Home app, which helps home owners to assess their properties and identifies actions they can take to mitigate the risks of wildfires. That can include removing dry leaves and pine needles from roofs, gutters and decks; moving wood piles at least 10 metres from structures; and keeping lawns mowed and watered.
“Wildfire fighters are out there working hard to keep us all safer, but they can’t do it all and they can’t always save every value at risk,” Shane Thompson, NWT minister of Environment and Natural Resources said in a statement.
“Preventing wildfires is everyone’s responsibility – and practising FireSmart principles is one way to do your part and keep your home, cabin, and community safer. I encourage everyone on the Ingraham Trail to get involved.”
The contest began last year as a territory-wide initiative. The territorial government said the Ingraham Trail is being targeted this year as there has been significant wildfire activity in the area in the past and many homes and cabins along the trail are in forested areas that could be damaged by fires.
NWT residents aged 18 years and older can enter the contest for the chance to win one of three wildfire protection kits, valued at $2,300, that include a water pump, hose and sprinklers.
To be eligible, residents have to submit an entry form with photos taken before an after completing FireSmart work on their property to email@example.com before 11:59pm on September 6. Only one entry is permitted per household.
Winners will be selected by draw and contest entries will be shared on the NWT Fire Facebook page.
To date, there have been a total of 132 fires affecting 1122.41 square kilometres across the territory in 2021. NWT fire officials have said this year’s fire season has been “slightly below-average” so far.
As of Thursday, there were a total of 62 active fires burning with 14 in the Dehcho, seven in the South Slave, 21 in the North Slave, 14 in the Sahtu, and six in the Beaufort Delta.