Media Advisory: Wildfire Response in the Deh Cho and South Slave
(June 30, 2015, Updated at: 4:58 PM) – There is currently a wildfire burning approximately 2 kms northwest of Jean Marie River. In addition, a wildfire approximately 20,000 hectares in size is burning approximately 6 kms south of Hay River. As a result of these fires, the communities of Jean Marie River and Hay River and residents along Highway 2 are at increased risk. Various government departments are working to coordinate resources and response to these wildfires.
MACA is responsible for emergency measures and coordinating resources and information between all GNWT departments as well as community governments and stakeholders to ensure the security of NWT communities and residents during wildfire season.
The Territorial, South Slave and Deh Cho Emergency Response Committees have been engaged and the territorial operations center is activated and is continuing to plan activities in collaboration with stakeholder organizations. MACA is working with the Town of Hay River, ENR, other departments and stakeholders to develop contingency plans should an evacuation of the town be required.
Neither of the affected communities (Jean Marie River and Hay River) has declared a state of local emergency. Municipal and GNWT officials will work together to ensure effective communications should evacuation be necessary.
Environment and Natural Resources is coordinating fire suppression activities and providing information and current wildfire conditions across the territory.
Priority fires in the Northwest Territories include Paradise Complex, approximately 2 kms from the Hay River and, FS-066 fire, about 4 km west Jean Marie River.
Aircraft are still unable to assess or suppress fire due to heavy smoke in the area of the Paradise Complex. The plan is to cut control lines for a burn out operation to keep the fire from getting west of the river. Fire operations today are limited to values at risk in the Paradise Gardens and Patterson subdivisions.
The fire about 4 km west of Jean Marie River made a run towards the north last night away from the community. Fire is now 231 ha. Resources on the fire today include 50 fire personnel, four helicopters and air tanker support as required. Fire still poses a potential threat to the community.
The Department of Transportation is monitoring wildfire situations and smoke conditions on NWT highways to ensure roadways are safe. DOT is effecting road closures in areas where smoke or fire may prevent safe passage on highways.
DOT provides regular updates to the public through local media, Twitter, the DOT website, email commercial alerts, and a toll-free phone line.
For updates on road closures and highway safety: call 1-800-661-0750; check Twitter: @GNWT_DOT or online at www.dot.gov.nt.ca
Wildland Fire Updates are available as the fire situation and conditions in the Northwest Territories require. Updates are posted online at www.enr.gov.nt.ca, on the NWTfire Facebook page and at www.nwtfire.com.
A Public Alerts page is available on the main government website that aggregates all the links to information pertaining to emergency response on a variety of departmental websites, including social media accounts at www.gov.nt.ca/public-safety-alerts