A fire ban is in place for all public and private lands in the South Slave Region – from the west of the Slave River at Fort Smith through Fort Resolution, and stretching to the east to the border with the Dehcho Region.
This is effective through September 22 and may be extended if necessary.
Terms of fire ban
Burn permits are temporarily cancelled while this order is in effect.
The following is not allowed:
- Starting, tending, or using open fire outdoors, including in an open fire pit or burn barrel
- Discharging firearms with incendiary or tracer ammunition
- Fireworks or firecrackers
- Shooting or detonating exploding targets
- Igniting sky lanterns
- Igniting signal flare devices or pyrotechnic bear bangers unless in emergency situations
- Storing flare devices, bear bangers, fireworks, or firecrackers in a manner that may cause them to be ignited.
The use of fire for exercising Aboriginal or treaty rights by Indigenous peoples are exempt from these restrictions.
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This fire remains out of control.
500, 418 hectares
165+ personnel, 8 helicopters, 31 pieces of heavy equipment, airtankers and water skimmers
Temperatures remain a few degrees above seasonal average, with a high of 16 degrees expected today. The relative humidity (level of moisture in the air) is expected to be 35-30%, and light west-northwest winds are forecasted for the day. Winds are expected to be quite light into the evening, with southerly overnight winds.
Temperatures are expected to increase over the coming days, with a high of 20 degrees, and relative humidity of 30% heading into Thursday. South-southwest winds are forecasted – 15-25km/hr gusting 35-40km/hr.
Aggressive fire weather is set to develop and continue into the weekend, with a forecast of 24 degrees on Friday. Saturday is expected to reach a high of 21 degrees, with strong southerly winds gusting to 35-40km/hr.
Distance from landmarks (approx. at closest point) and status
- Town of Hay River and surrounding area: reached within 500 metres of the Hospital, reached 2 Seasons area and Pointe La Roche, reached within 10m of some areas of Highway 2; risk greatly reduced by work with heavy equipment and crews; some hotspots requiring continuing work.
- K’átł’odeeche First Nation Reserve: populated areas and key structures secured by successful ignition operations, work to be completed today, and area burned by wildfire in May; risk remains to additional structures outside of populated areas which are being addressed.
- Paradise Gardens and Patterson Road: Reached area; caused significant damage; some hotspots requiring continuing work.
- Delancey Estates: Reached area; no damage; limited hotspots remain nearby.
- Enterprise: reached community and caused significant damage; significant hotspots to be addressed going forward.
- Riverwoods Estates: reached 1.5km east and 4km west; successful ignition operations and work to be finished today has greatly reduced risks.
- Kakisa: reached 11km southeast; risk greatly reduced by work from heavy equipment and crews.
- Fish Point: fire on the east of the Hay River has not reached this area.
- As residents return to the K’átł’odeeche First Nation and Hay River, they should be prepared to see increased fire behaviour to the east of the river – including large plumes of smoke and this will continue in the coming days. That does not necessarily mean it is not safe – a lot of work has been done to secure the Hay River Corridor and First Nation (where further protections exist because the burned area from the May fire surrounds the most populated areas of the Reserve).
- Containment lines and fire breaks continue to hold throughout the Hay River Corridor and K’átł’odeeche areas with no fire perimeter breaches.
- Scans have revealed significant hotspots remaining within the community of Enterprise and along the highway corridor. This will need to be addressed going forward in collaboration with the community.
- Significant damage seen in the Hamlet of Enterprise, Patterson Road, and Paradise Gardens.
- A scan along the highway 1 from Enterprise to the edge of the fire at Mink creek has revealed that there remain significant hot spots along the ditch areas. Although most of these spots will be allowed to burn out, they will be monitored regularly to ensure they don’t affect values.
- Further assessment of areas along the rail bed will be conducted in the following week for further mop-up in these areas.
What we’re doing
- Aeriel support will continue to complete drops to reduce fire intensity and slow potential growth as needed.
- Fire mitigation tactics will remain the same, respond to flareups and continue to extinguish hotspots in the vicinity of the flareups.
- The ignition line east of Sandy Creek will be fortified with crews and heavy equipment by:
- Continue tightlining at the eastern edge of the area which was burned and tie into the existing cat guard.
- Continue to extinguish fuel at the eastern edge of the burn area.
- Removing vegetation and fuel to build a contingency control line to the west of the ignition line.
- The goal is to have a cat guard perimeter that is tightlined with the removal of fuels away from the fire’s edge.
- Structure protection on the outskirts of the K’átł’odeeche First Nation Reserve and at Birch Creek are on standby and ready for use if needed.
- Structure protection is expected to remain in place in key areas throughout the Hay River Corridor and the Reserve as a precaution for the time being.
- The Sandy Creek lodge and cabins will continue to be readied with sprinklers and turned on as needed.
- Helicopters and crews are continuing to mop-up hotspots along Highway 1 and the Hay River Corridor to contain fire within the perimeter and prevent control line breaches. We are using information from nightly heat scans to “seek and destroy” hotspot targets throughout the day.
- We will be working with the community of Enterprise to continue to address hotspots to support the long road to recovery after the tragic losses seen in the community by providing logistical support to house and feed their responders.
- We have a structure protection branch tasked with setting up sprinklers to priority areas and demobbing gear in non-priority areas.
Coming home to the Hay River Corridor and K’átł’odeeche First Nation Reserve
- Follow all instructions from your community government on return.
- It is not a risk-free, or fire-free return. Fire remains active in the area and will until the weather changes and everyone will need to adapt to living with fire. You will see smoke and you will see flare-ups and significant fire activity. The work done to secure the perimeter has significantly reduced the chance of these flare-ups causing problems, and crews remain active in the area to address issues.
- This fire will need to be managed until the snow falls. Expect fire crews and aircraft working in the area, and equipment near places you travel. Certain areas may also be off-limits to non-residents due to fire operations at times. Please be cautious and courteous to those continuing to do this critical work.
- Many trees and their root systems have been damaged due to this fire. A lot of work has been done to remove dangerous trees from the most populated areas, but many still remain standing. This is a serious hazard. It is best to steer clear of burned forest areas if you can. If you are near burned forest area, be on alert for the potential for falling trees, keep two treelength distance between you and the nearest tree, and do not disturb soil nearby.
- Do not use your drones in firefighting areas: you may be curious what the area looks like from above, but unauthorized drones ground all aircraft in firefighting areas. There’s a lot of work to be done from the air still in Hay River, the Reserve, along Highway 5, and along Highway 1 from just past the NWT/Alberta border through to Kakisa. Don’t let your photography trip pause that critical work.
- Those returning to areas fire caused damage should follow instructions from the Town, First Nation, and damage assessors on when it is safe to return.
- Avoid hunting in active fire areas. Crews continue working in many areas of the fire, and hunting in these areas could hamper firefighting efforts. This could result in areas of concern being put at risk of not having the suppression actions necessary in keeping communities and values safe.
- Consider these tips for returning home after wildfire:
This lightning caused fire is an estimated 25 hectares in size. It is located approximately 60km northwest of Kakisa and 3km south of Highway 1 at marker 246. Tankers made good progress on this fire yesterday, and crews will be assessing the area today. Sprinklers have been set up, and are running on VARs to the north near the highway. We will continue to monitor.
This lightning caused fire is approximately 80 hectares in size and is located 27km norht of Fort Providence and 20kmwest of Highway 3 at marker 70. There is no threat to communities, cabins or infrastructure.
Fort Smith Wildfire (SS022)
This lightning-caused fire has now joined up with SS019, what was previously known as the Taltson complex of fires. All these fires combined are now approximately 550, 957 hectares in size.
Distance to landmarks
20 km north of Fort Smith.
Smoky conditions continue, decreasing visibilities for crews in the air and on the ground as well as for people on the highway. Fire behaviour continues to be aggressive across the region.
What is being done
Crews continue working on value protection in the area.
Fort Smith has issued an evacuation order due to this wildfire. All residents should be ready to leave on short notice.
488, 900 hectares
Distance from landmarks (approximately closest point)
No movement since last update.
Today, temperatures will cool slightly with a high forecast at 16 degrees Celsius and relative humidity at 35 percent. Winds from the north with gusts of up to 35 km/h are expected to remain for the next few days.
Temperatures remain 5 degrees above seasonal.
No precipitation is forecast. Conditions remain extremely dry. The drought code has now reached over 1200. The previous record reached in the Fort Smith area was 840. A drought code over 300 is considered extreme.
What is being done
Helicopters were able to resume operations and assisted firefighters with suppression via bucketing and transported crews to more remote areas of the fire line.
Crews continued ignition operations at the northeast perimeter of Slave River, to further shore up control lines in the area to help prevent the fire from spreading east into the community. Firefighters continue to extinguish hotspots along Connie’s Road and Foxholes Road to secure the perimeter.
Crews will begin to remove structure protection west of Bell Rock to Thebacha Road. Removal of the structure protection is the first step in preparing the area for residents to return to their homes.
Highway 5 is open to the public. Crews continue to work on demobilizing equipment. A speed reduction to 50 km/h is in place where firefighters are present in order ensure their safety. Please be mindful of crews who continue to work along the road – slow down and give them space to work as you pass.
The evacuation order for the Town of Fort Smith has been lifted. An Evacuation alert remains in place. For updates on the Town's re-entry plan, visit https://fortsmith.ca/re-entry-updates
All other active fires are under control or being monitored.
Here is information on precautions you can take to deal with wildfire smoke:
Here’s some advice to follow based on fire danger levels in your area.
- Low: Have campfires and burn with regular caution. Fires may still start easily, but it is less likely to grow and spread.
- Moderate: Take extra caution by keeping campfires and burn piles as small as possible. Fires may start more easily and have a higher chance of growing and spreading.
- High: Do not have any fires unless it is necessary for food or warmth. Keep them as small as possible. Pay special attention to anything else nearby that embers from your fire could hit. Consider using contained flames, like propane stoves or barbecues, for your cooking needs. There may be fire restrictions in place because at high fire danger, there is a good chance fires will start easily, grow quickly, and challenge firefighters trying to fight them.
- Extreme: Do not have campfires or burn things unless there is no other choice for food or warmth. Use contained flames like propane stoves or barbecues for food whenever possible. At extreme fire danger, forests are very dry and it is likely fire will start easily, spread quickly, and cause real challenges for firefighters when they need to be fought. Hunting, fireworks, campfires, or other burning may be restricted.