Winter wildfires near Fort Liard

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Three small wildfires were discovered in an area that is extremely dry from a lack of fall precipitation.
photo courtesy of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

It’s not something you’d expect in January, but three wildfires were burning in the Fort Liard area last week.
Richard Olsen, a fire operations manager with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR), said the blazes were discovered in an area that has seen little snowfall so far this winter.
“The biggest one is the size of a living room,” he said. “Having three in one area, especially this time of year, is quite rare.”
A Facebook post on the NWT Fire page said the blazes were caused by abandoned campfires.
“January may not seem like the time to worry about fires, but the Fort Liard area is still extremely dry from a lack of fall precipitation,” said the post. “In these conditions fire can get into the duff layer in the ground and smolder over winter. These fires can then pop back up in the spring when conditions warm up.”
Local firefighters have been dispatched to extinguish the wildfires, said Olsen, who reminded residents to do their part by making sure their campfires are completely out – even in winter.

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