YELLOWKNIFE (August 10, 2015) – Fire ZF-014, near Reid Lake, is still a threat. The GNWT is working to suppress the fire and ensure the safety of the public. The following are updates from the various government agencies involved in the response to this wildfire.
The next Public Safety Update will be issued on Thursday, August 13, 2015, unless the situation at the Reid Lake fire advances significantly before then.
Environment and Natural Resources (ENR)
ENR continues to fight the Reid Lake fire, with additional resources being put into action over the weekend. This includes about 100 fire personnel and the command centre stationed at the Reid Lake campground and rotary-wing aircraft for suppression activities. Value at risk protection efforts have been successful but fire operations are not yet finished and, while work is ongoing, safety of crews and the public continue to be the first priority. Fire behaviour remains extreme due to hot, dry and very windy conditions. There have been a number of lightning strikes throughout the region in the past 48 hours. More lightning is expected today and tomorrow.
For the latest updates on NWT fire conditions visit the ENR website www.enr.gov.nt.ca and the NWT Fire Facebook page.
DOT has closed Highway 4 at the Cameron River bridge to all traffic, this road closure continued over the weekend and will continue until further notice as fire operations are ongoing in the area. No traffic will be permitted past the closure while in effect. This closure is essential for fire crews to continue their work without interruption.
Highway 3 is currently open but wind direction and smoke conditions could change the status of the highway. For the latest information see the DOT website or twitter feed.
Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)
The Reid Lake Territorial Park Campground and Cameron River Territorial Park are closed. Updates about the closures will be issued through regular Public Safety Updates at www.gov.nt.ca, and on the ITI website at www.iti.gov.nt.ca.
At this time both parks will be closed until further notice.
Campers who wish to cancel a booking can do so without penalty by contacting 445-1717 for the period of August 5-14. For Extended Stay Campsite holders a refund will be provided at a pro-rated daily rate once the park re-opens. For more information visit www.iti.gov.nt.ca.
Health and Social Services (HSS)
HSS is advising residents with concerns about smoke to see the Health Effects of Smoke Exposure due to Forest Fire information sheet.
For more information visit www.hss.gov.nt.ca.
Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)
MACA, through the Emergency Measures Office, will continue to provide updates on the fire, related closure, and ongoing activities. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.
At this time we want to stress that the road and park closures remain in effect to ensure the safety of both the public and the fire crews working to contain the fire. There are over 80 firefighters, additional support staff, vehicles, water bombers and helicopters operating in the area past the Cameron River Bridge.
We understand cabin owners and recreational users are both concerned for their properties and wish to access the area for recreation, but many fire operation actions require the road for staging and until these actions are complete it is not safe for the public to be in the area.
We ask that the public respect the road closure and, in turn, the safety measures put in place to protect firefighters and the public.
MACA continues to coordinate GNWT resources and notify the public about the current fire situation.
New Public Safety Updates will be provided as information becomes available. Updates will be distributed to local media and posted online at www.gov.nt.ca.
Media Inquiries by Topic
Fire conditions and fire suppression: Judy McLinton at 867-445-2297.
Health concerns about smoke conditions: Damien Healy at 867-767-9052 ext. 49034
Highway conditions and status: Nick Hurst at 867-445-1368
Territorial park/campground closures: Briony Wright 867-920-6109
GNWT emergency response: David Maguire at 867-920-3092