Lone crew battling spring fire near Fort Liard

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One crew is actively fighting a forest fire south of Fort Liard which was detected last Wednesday.

The blaze was caused by a downed survey line 25 kilometres south of the hamlet and to-date has affected less than one-hectare of land.

A helicopter works on a forest fire near Gameti in July, 2014 as part of a burnout operation that aimed to keep the fire from creeping closer to the lake near the community. There have already been three small fires in the Dehcho region with one fire currently being manned by a fire crew. photo courtesy of Jenn Wetrade

Depending on the depth of the burn the fire could continue, said manager of fire operations, Richard Olsen.

As of press-time it had burned through a small amount of land. However, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is closely monitoring it because of the thick organic layer made up of moss, sticks and branches on top of the soil. Olson said fires rarely get hot enough to burn through soil.

He added identifying the depth of the burn – how much of the organic layer is being burned – is key in determining how long the blaze will continue and how much land will be affected.

A NWT fire update conference takes place today and Olson will provide further updates on the fire.

As of press-time the one crew containing the fire on the ground is being assisted by an air-tanker which is releasing fire retardant over the problem area.

“We don’t find anything unusual with (the fire in Fort Liard),” said Olson. “Our major season typically starts around mid to late June.”

The NWT fire update was released last week stating the fire near Fort Liard was one of three which have been reported so far in 2018.

The other two instances have been reported to ENR as man made fires in the industrial area of Fort Simpson.

The first a winter-brush burning commenced and finished on May 6.

The other fire – another winter-brush burning – was reported on May 22 and extinguished on the same day stated a release from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In total the three blazes have affected three-hectares of land in the Dehcho region at this time.