An Evacuation order is in effect for Saamba K'e due to a wildfire in the area. Residents of Sambaa K’e are being advised on evacuation procedures by local officials.
A Special Wildfire Bulletin was issued with a statement regarding a home lost during an ignition operation on June 4, 2023.
This fire is not under control. It was last estimated at 265,000 Ha burned within the Northwest Territories.
It remains an estimated 10km away from the edge of Sambaa K’e at its closest points.
Our team is doing everything they can to protect the community and things people value on the land between the fire and the community.
Updates from today
Winds were once again less favourable today – coming from the south.
Although hot, dry condition have persisted, with winds continuing to pick up, the fire has not advanced toward Sombaa K’e. Strong winds are expected throughout the evening, with increasing cloudiness in the area. There is a chance for minimal precipitation late this evening, with slightly cooler temperatures expected over night.
To protect things people value beyond the community, the team have been conducting small-scale backburns around some structures. The intent is to discourage the fire from consuming these structures if the fire gets close.
They also continued to install and maintain sprinklers for structure protection within the community; and beyond as they put sprinklers on additional cabins.
Two individuals have been informed their cabins have been lost. It is believed to have occurred during explosive growth of the wildfire last week.
This is always an unfortunate outcome – one that fire managers never like to see. However, the reality is that these losses happen.
The Boreal Forest is a landscape shaped by fire with things we value dotting that landscape.
Sometimes, firefighters can’t make it in time safely – especially when facing large, fierce wildfires.
In the NWT, we can all make a difference and reduce our risk of wildfire damage – even if wildfire comes. FireSmart principles offer a proven way to do that – and there are simple, inexpensive steps anyone can take to make homes, cabins, camps, and businesses more resilient to wildfire.
The fire has not reached the community of Sambaa K’e. These assessments can always change along with conditions – which have unfortunately at-times changed fast.
There remains risk that it could occur in the days ahead as the weather is expected to heat up, and strong winds coming from the south are expected throughout the evening.
We’ll be doing all we can on the ground to protect the community should the time come.
The main objective on this fire is to prevent the loss of structures. Here’s what we’re doing to get that done:
- Air tankers will complete drops on priority targets near the community to attempt to slow growth at the fire’s front as visibility allows.
- Structure protection will continue with two key priorities:
- Continuing to set up and maintain sprinklers in Sambaa K’e to discourage ignition should fire reach the community. This is complete on all critical infrastructure and buildings on the periphery of Sambaa K’e,
- Expanding protection work beyond the community – which had been stalled due to visibility problems hampering flights, meaning crews could not get there. Structure protection is set up at Island Lake, and missions will be flown as is safe to begin work on other structures in the path of this over 100km wide fire.
- The team will continue to ensure no new dangerous flare ups at the site of the test fire and ignition operation.
Aircraft and other resources may also be shared with FS007 as-available at the north of Sambaa K’e Lake to assist in their operation to protect structures at Moose River.
A total of 42 personnel are assigned to this fire – including an Incident Management Team, along with seven crews now onsite, heavy equipment, ignitions specialists, a structure protection specialist, multiple airtankers, and 3 helicopters.
This lightning-caused fire near Moose River at the north end of Sambaa K’e Lake (Trout Lake) is currently 5 Ha in size. A crew and airtankers are actioning it to protect structures nearby.
All other fires in the region are being monitored.
Here is information about precautions for dealing 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.