NWT Emergency Response Update - June 05, 2023 5:00pm

Public Safety Bulletin

Communities remain lead on response activities. Territorial and Regional Emergency Management Organizations are fully activated and providing resources for planning, coordination, and support to community emergency management operations.

Current status

Sambaa K’e

  • Residents of Sambaa K'e were evacuated due to concerns about the airport possibly being unavailable due to wildfire smoke in the area. It was determined that it was in the best interest to ensure the safety of residents that this evacuation take place.
  • This evacuation order is issued on behalf of Sambaa K'e First Nation.
  • Residents of Sambaa K’e are being advised on evacuation procedures by local officials.
  • An evacuation centre has been stood up in Fort Simpson for Sambaa K’e residents requiring group lodging, food, and assistance.
  • A community spokesperson is available at the evacuation centre to provide more information for evacuees.

Kátł'odeeche First Nation

An Evacuation order remains in effect for Kátł'odeeche First Nation while the community prepares a re-entry plan. Follow the Kátł'odeeche First Nation Facebook page for regular updates. It is not safe to return to Kátł'odeeche First Nation at this time.

Wildfires Recovery Pathfinder (Kátł'odeeche First Nation)

A GNWT Pathfinder has been appointed to provide information on questions evacuees may have and where they can get additional details on what GNWT services may be available locally or at the evacuation centre in Yellowknife. You should regularly check your community government updates for the latest information.   

As this rapidly changing situation develops, any new information will be shared by the GNWT as soon as it becomes available on the Public Safety Page

The pathfinder is available Monday-Friday 9am - 4:30pm.

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Hay River

The Town of Hay River Evacuation Order has been reduced to an Evacuation Alert.


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Returning home safely after a wildfire

Returning home after a wildfire affected the area may be stressful and traumatic. This guide will help you know what to do and where to get help. Before returning home think about what you will see, hear and smell in your community upon return to emotionally prepare yourself and your family. Your community may have changed dramatically.

Keep yourself safe and healthy, with the checklists in the guide.

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Wildfire Status

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Roads and Airports

For the latest information, please refer to the Highway Conditions Map.

Sambaa K’e Airport

  • Airport access restricted to medevac and fire operations only (with prior permission) until further notice.

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Evacuee Accommodations

Evacuation Reception Centres

Sambaa K’e

  • An Evacuation Reception Centre has been established in Fort Simpson for evacuees from Sambaa K’e. A community spokesperson is available at the evacuation centre to provide more information for evacuees.

Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Town of Hay River

  • As of June 1, all evacuees who had been staying overnight at the Yellowknife Reception Centre have returned home or made alternate arrangements for accommodations.
  • Kátł’odeeche First Nation residents still under an evacuation order in Yellowknife who are in need of supports can access them in person at:
    • The NTHSSA Logistics Office in Centre Square Mall (the old hair salon next to the elevators to Centre Square Tower)
    • By phone (867-446-2023) between 8:30am and 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.
  • For all information specific to your community, reach out to your community government.

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Health Services for Evacuees

Healthcare providers are available to assist with health needs of Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation evacuees, this includes regular appointments, prescription refills, etc.

  • Call 867-767-9294 or 867-767-9125 for a phone consultation. Identify yourself as an evacuee so we can direct your calls appropriately.
    • We expect high call volumes for this service, so we ask all residents to have patience when calling.
    • For 24/7 non-urgent health advice and information, call 8-1-1 free-of-charge to speak to a registered nurse.

Mental Health Services for Evacuees

Being evacuated from your home community is stressful; checking in with a mental health and counselling resource can help provide strategies, advice, and resources to deal with this difficult situation. Services available to evacuees include:

  • Virtual or Remote Supports: Contact the Yellowknife Community Counselling office for information on mental health services. Virtual services are available to people in Yellowknife or another community.
  • Yellowknife Community Counselling Office: Phone Counselling is available 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday. (867) 767-9110 ext. 3

The following supports are also available:

  • NWT Help Line: 1-800-661-0844
  • Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868 Or text CONNECT to 686868
  • Wellness Together Canada: Adults: 1-866-585-0445, Youth: 1-888-668-6810
  • Canada Suicide Prevention Service: 1-833-456-4566
  • Hope For Wellness: 1-855-242-3310
  • Family Violence Crisis line: 1-866-223-7775

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Financial Support for Evacuees

The Evacuee Income Disruption Support program

  • The Evacuee Income Disruption Support program assists individuals who have lost employment income due to extended evacuation periods.
  • Provides financial support to adults 17+ whose employment has been disrupted by an evacuation lasting more than seven days.
  • Eligible residents can receive a one-time payment of $750.
  • For more information on how to apply:

The Community Government Hosting Evacuees Grant

  • The Community Government Hosting Evacuees Grant provides financial assistance to eligible community governments that host evacuees outside of a designated Evacuation Centre.
  • To be eligible for the grant, community governments must host 10 or more registered evacuees.
  • Funding starts at $20,000 and is capped at $40,000, and is based on total evacuees hosted.
  • Funding can be requested after an evacuation order has been in place for seven or more days.

Business Relief

  • Qualifying businesses can access Operational Support under the GNWT’s SEED policy to provide emergency relief or support business recovery.
  • Prior to filling out an application, businesses should contact the Department of Industry Tourism and Investment’s South Slave Regional Office at: (867) 872-8046 or by e-mailing: Kathy_Lepine@gov.nt.ca

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NWT Parks

For information on fire bans, check the NWT Parks website and in-person at NWT Parks.  

South Slave Parks 

  • Reservations at NWT Parks in the South Slave Region are still restricted to accommodate wildfire evacuees from Kátł’odeeche First Nation. 
  • The Hay River Campground is now open. 
  • For information about South Slave Parks, contact Marc Schmitz, Manager Parks South Slave: marc_schmitz@gov.nt.ca or 867-875-7569

Dehcho Parks

  • Powered camping sites have been reserved at the Fort Simpson Territorial Park for Sambaa K’e wildfire evacuees.
    • Evacuees should contact park contractor, Stanley Paul (on site) for further direction.
  • For more information about Dehcho Parks, contact Stephanie Hardisty at Stephanie_Hardisty@gov.nt.ca or (867) 695-7515     

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Public Housing

Sambaa K'e

  • Nahendeh District Office (for Sambaa K’e evacuees): 867-695-7700 
  • Fort Simpson Housing Authority (for Sambaa K’e evacuees): 867-695-2725
  • Housing NWT Toll-Free Number: 1-844-NWT-HOME (1-844-698-4663)
  • Housing NWT staff continue to assess public housing units in Sambaa K’e and there are no issues at this time. Housing NWT will be in contact with Sambaa K’e housing clients.

Kátł’odeeche First Nation and Town of Hay River

  • Hay River Housing Authority: 867-874-6477
  • Housing NWT Toll Free Number: 1-844-NWT-HOME (1-844-698-4663)
  • Kátł’odeeche First Nation: Housing NWT is assessing the status of public housing units and will be in contact with KFN housing clients. The evacuation order for Kátł’odeeche is still in effect. It is not safe to return to KFN.
  • Hay River: Hay River Housing Authority staff continue to assess public housing units in Hay River and there are no issues at this time.
    • Hay River public housing tenants can return to their homes. However, the Town of Hay River has advised is not suitable for those with special health care needs to return. Those with Special Health Needs are advised to delay their re-entry to allow for full restoration of their support services and risk reduction. More information is available in the Hay River Community Reentry Plan, here.

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Actions today

Emergency Management Organization (EMO) Activation:

  • The Territorial, South Slave, Dehcho and North Slave Emergency Management Organizations (EMO) remain activated.
  • The South Slave REMO, Deh Cho REMO, and Territorial EMO is in regular communication with and providing ongoing support to the communities of Sambaa K’e First Nation, Town of Hay River and the Kátł’odeeche First Nation for wildfires.

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Priorities for operations tomorrow

  • Continued monitoring of wildfire to assure safety of evacuees.
  • Continued support to Sambaa K’e, Town of Hay River, Kátł’odeeche First Nation and partner agencies.

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Staying safe in an emergency

For the latest, most accurate emergency information, continue checking for updates with your local community government and visit www.gov.nt.ca/public-safety.

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Monetary donations are being accepted by United Way NWT.

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More information

NWT Alert

Follow the latest emergency alerts here: https://nwtalert.ca/#/

NWT Wildfire