The City of Yellowknife is now deferring to the territorial government on emergency measures relating to wildfires threatening the NWT capital.

The municipality circulated a news release late Wednesday afternoon indicating that the territorial state of local emergency makes the GNWT’s Emergency Management Organization the official lead entity on the wildfire crisis. That also means that the territorial government will be responsible for handling the flow of communications and updates on the fires.

The municipality reiterated progress it has made over the past several days, particularly in terms of constructing firebreaks with the aid of contractors. That process removed vegetation, which acts as “fuel” for wildfires, and established a line of sprinklers.

The firebreak to the west of the Sand Pits is almost complete and is being widened to 100 metres or more. The firebreak along Deh Cho Boulevard and around the Engle Business District is more than half complete. The sewage lagoon road has been cleared. Sprinklers were being tested yesterday with some adjustments today to ensure continuity, including piped water access, according to the city.

“We are sourcing additional resources,” the city added.

For additional protection, the GNWT Department of Environment and Climate Change is also putting a fire retardant line down beyond the work that the city is doing.

City of Yellowknife hands off wildfire emergency measures to GNWT:

Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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