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Residents pack up to return to Fort Good Hope

Wildfire risk has fallen 'dramatically,' says NWT Fire
A water bomber swoops in over a wildfire near Fort Good Hope last week. As conditions have improved significantly, the community is no longer under an evacuation order.

After being forced to flee due to wildfires near the community on June 15, residents of Fort Good Hope were given the all clear to return home on Friday afternoon.

NWT Fire says fire crew's efforts are now focused on "mop up" duties as the burned area last measured 8,226 hectares on July 1. Seven fire crews, one fire tech, two helicopters and an incident management team of 14 were still assigned to the situation as of July 5. 

"Weather conditions are expected to remain favourable in the coming days for getting work done on mop-up," NWT Fire stated on July 5. "Wildfire risk has drastically reduced for the community."

The agency advised residents to "steer clear of equipment for safety reasons and give crews space to do their work." It also warned of the potential for burned trees to fall, so it's best to avoid charred areas and to always keep a minimum of two tree-lengths between yourself and the nearest tree. As well, because the blaze burned deep into the ground, there will be ash pits that could pose a hazard if someone stepped in or fell into them. 

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) stated that residents who need non-urgent health advice this weekend are encouraged to call 811 to speak with a registered nurse. A nurse on call will also be available in the community over the weekend and can be contacted at 867-496-0004.

The Cassien Edgi Health and Social Services Centre is expected to resume regular hours starting Monday.

"We appreciate your patience if there are some delays to regular programming until later in the week as individuals return to the community and operations settle back into normality," NTHSSA stated. "For more information on available programs or to book a future appointment at the Health Centre, please call 867-598-3333 or 867-598-2211." 

About the Author: Derek Neary

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