N.W.T. highway and ferry reopen, more wildfire closures could be coming

After a partial closure of 17 hours, Highway 1 and the Nduli boat on the McKenzie River are fully open again.

The highway was closed Wednesday night between Fort Simpson and Rigley, and reopened around 10 a.m. Thursday. At the same time, the boat was only used for traffic in the southern region.

On Thursday morning, the Department of Infrastructure warned on Twitter that residents should continue to drive cautiously in smoke conditions.

The department said highway and boat closures could occur throughout the day with “a few announcements.”

Six new wildfires were reported between Wednesday and Thursday, all in the South Slavic region.

Three of the recent fires were “out of control” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR). Wildfire Improvement Page.

The fires passed 14 kilometers south of Fort Province, 1 km north of Highway 1, 210 km marker, and one fire 3 km east of Highway 36 km from Kakisa.

Although these fires are marked “out of control”, ENR indicates that cabinets, communities or infrastructure are not currently in danger.

On the meridian island near Fort Providence, two new firefighters responded, one on the northern tip of the island and the other on the south.

Mike Westwick, NWT’s wildfire information officer, said the ENR “relatively confident” department said the fire was “well under control” on the south of the island and “made great progress” on the northern fires.

Westwick appeared on CBC Trail breaker With Lauren McGinis Thursday morning.

ENR requires residents to do their part

All six fires are thought to have been caused by lightning. However, Westwick said that some of the 96 fires during this period were man-made. [is] It is always a big problem for any wildfire service because they are associated with completely fire hazards.

Westwick pointed out the fire at Lake Vé, just outside Louknif.

He said the fire was suspected to have been caused by a bear, but the department was investigating the cause of the fire.

“It’s good news because there are a lot of people in the area,” he said, listing cabinets and the Range Hill walkway.

ENR requests anyone with information about a fire to assist in the investigation.

Smoke from Fort Simpson and Rigley, which shut down Highway 1 in the NWT, can be seen in this video taken by Fort Simpson on July 9, 2021. (Hannah Polson / CBC)

Some residents of Westwick acknowledged that they were concerned about fires near their community, particularly the 40-kilometer stretch of Rigley and the 650-kilometer highway.

“There is no shocking cause in the community,” he said.

He said the disaster management team is working to protect the cabinets and houses in the area as well as the structural protection of the Engrid pipeline.

As of Thursday morning, there were 65 blazing fires in the state. A total of 96 wildfires have damaged 131,380 hectares of land.

According to Westwick, the NWT is facing serious challenges in the coming days and resources are being expanded.

He called on ENR residents to “do their utmost not to put pressure on firefighters.”

On Wednesday, after normal phone technical issues, the ENR hotline returned to report smoke or fire and was operational on Thursday. This is 867-445-5484.

Smoke alarms are provided for many NWT communities.

Meanwhile, Canada has issued a series of smoke alarms to the following NWT communities in dro Délı̨nę, Fort Providence, Kakisa, Fort Resolution, Norman Wells, Tulita; Including the Northern Slave Territory, Wekweeti, Whatì and Behchokǫ; Fort Smith and Salt River Reserve; Around Riley and Yellow Knife.

According to the warnings, wildfires accumulate large amounts of particles in the air and reduce poor air quality and visibility.

The governments of Alberta and British Columbia, with the support of several government agencies, have an interactive map of North American smoke detection.

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