Air quality statement issued for Yk as wildfire northwest of city more than doubles in size

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The out of control wildfire roughly 40 km northwest of Yellowknife has grown to 2400 hectares, NWT Fire stated Sunday.

If safe, ground crews deployed yesterday will help fight the blaze, which has more than doubled in size since NWT Fire reported it reached 1100 hectares on Saturday.

As a management team assesses the situation, crews are building helicopter landing pads and gathering resources to fight the wildfire, NWT Fire said. To cut off available fuel, controlled burns will also continue on the east and northeast sides of the fire.

The North Slave fire danger level remains extreme as hot and dry conditions persist. Weather forecasts also predict winds blowing to the southwest and a chance of thunderstorms.

There is no threat to the community at this time, NWT Fire stated.

Meanwhile, projections from firesmoke.ca indicate smoke from the fire will worsen by Monday afternoon.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has also warned of poor air quality in Yellowknife as result of wildfire smoke.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath,” it stated.

“Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. If you, or someone in your care, develop symptoms, reduce strenuous outdoors activities where ever possible until the air quality improves.”

If breathing becomes difficult while outdoors, reduce your physical activity, it stated. Similarly, if your eyes, nose or throat become irritated, or if you face shortness of breath, the department advises reducing exposure to smoke.