The North Slave has recorded its first wildfires of the summer 2018 season.

Two fires have been reported in the region of Wekweètì, a community of around 130 people some 200 km north of Yellowknife.

The fires were first reported by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier this week.

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Of the two, the most pressing is around 46 hectares in size and located 18 km north-west of Wekweètì. Three fire crews and a helicopter were being used in response. The fire is reported to have been caused by lightning.

The second fire is farther from the community and smaller in size. The department said that fire, five hectares in size and around 185 km north of Wekweètì near the Nunavut border, was being monitored.

The onset of wildfires in the North Slave this summer comes at roughly the same time as it did in 2017. That year, fires emerged south of Wekweètì in the week beginning July 10.

In 2015, by contrast, significant stretches of forest lining Highway 3 between Fort Providence and Behchokǫ̀ had already burned by the end of May, with hotspots close to Wekweètì and Whatì by the end of June.