Hay River declares state of emergency over dump fire

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Firefighters, excavators and water trucks battle a fire at the landfill in Hay River on the morning of March 11. The fire, which had been smouldering for almost a week, flared up on March 9. Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Firefighters, excavators and water trucks battle a fire at the landfill in Hay River on the morning of March 11. The fire, which had been smouldering for almost a week, flared up on March 9.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

An emergency has been declared in Hay River after a smouldering fire at the dump flared up on March 9.

The Town of Hay River declared the local state of emergency at 3 p.m. on March 10.

The Hay River Fire Department had been managing a subsurface fire at the landfill since March 3, before it flared up.

“Firefighting crews supported by local heavy equipment and water supply contractors are now focusing efforts on a surface fire near the south wall of the landfill,” stated a March 10 news release from the town.

It added the fire does not pose an immediate risk to the public.

“South winds are favourable for firefighting but are blowing smoke into the town of Hay River,” according to the news release.

The town has advised the Hay River Health and Social Services Authority of the situation.

The health authority will assess air quality and advise the public if there are any concerns.

The town is requesting the public’s co-operation while it deals with the fire.

“The public is asked to yield to emergency service and support crews travelling between the landfill and Hay River,” stated the release. “In respect of firefighting efforts, all non-emergency persons are asked to refrain from travelling in the area.

“The landfill is closed to the public, but garbage pickup services are continuing at this time.”

An incident command centre has been established at the town hall.

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