Firefighters take stock of N.W.T. fires as cooler, wet weather expected to end

Officials say the 'fire's taken a nap' and it's 'going to wake up' as temperatures rise


Firefighters trying to keep wildfires at bay from the city of Yellowknife were planning to take stock of the situation this morning after cooler, damp weather gave them a break Saturday.

Crews were to scan the fires with infrared sensors to better understand the condition of the fires and judge whether an attack on them would be safe and successful. 

The break that firefighters defending the capital of the Northwest Territories got from about four millimetres of rain is expected to end today, as temperatures are forecast to climb above 20 C.

Wildfire information officer Mike Westwick told a news conference Saturday night that the “fire’s taken a nap” and it’s “going to wake up” as temperatures rise.

The blaze, which prompted the evacuation of almost all 20,000 residents Yellowknife, remained about 15 kilometres from the community yesterday.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Shane Thompson says that over the last week, 68 per cent of the territory’s population has been evacuated due to fires.

No date has been set for anyone to return.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 20, 2023.

Banner image via The Canadian Press