Wildfire outside Yellowknife grows significantly – but infrastructure currently not threatened

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It didn’t take long for a wildfire burning some 40 kilometres northwest of Yellowknife to swell significantly in size – from 250 hectares to over 940 hectares – in just one day, but no infrastructure was at risk as of Friday afternoon.

The lightning-caused blaze began Thursday before strong winds caused the fire to triple in size by Friday.

An Incident Management Team has been established in the capital to monitor the fire, which is still deemed to be out of control, according to the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) website.

Efforts are underway to contain the east and southeast sides of fire, states an update from ENR.

In 2014, a large area south of the fire burned, which should mitigate the “progression of the fire to the south toward the highway,” according to the update.

Air tankers and three ground crews dealt with another substantial fire – 150 hectares in size – burning 80 kilometres east of Yellowknife near Watta Lake Thursday evening. Crews are continuing to contain and control the blaze, which was also caused by lightning.

On Thursday evening, four new fires – all caused by lightning – were detected southwest of Wekweètì. They continue to be monitored, and range between one to six hectares in size.

All other North Slave fires that popped up over the last few days – including blazes around Prelude Lake – were attacked by air tankers or crews, and are now either under control or called out.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.