Wildfires near Hay River, Kakisa and Katlodeeche First Nation have not moved significantly over the weekend.

An update was posted to the NWT Fire website at 5 p.m. Aug. 20.

“This fire is actually covering such a huge are, there is actually different weather in different parts of it,” said wildfire information officer Mike Westwick, who said the weather was going to get warmer and drier this week. “That’s not good news for Hay River.”

Westwick said protections have been put in place, for the second time this year, to protect the communities and areas that have not been damaged in Enterprise and Paradise.

A fire near Fort Smith is now 4 kilometres away. A unified command is combating that fire.

Hay River Kakisa Wildfire SS052 is now 8 kilometres away from Hay River, 10 kilometres south of Katlodeeche First Nation and 14 kilometres south of Kakisa.

“Warm, dry conditions are expected to continue across the fire area. Favourable winds expected today and tomorrow will help to keep the air clear in the area,” says the notice. “The fire has crossed Highway 1 at km 130 near Heart Lake — this is the section between Enterprise and Kakisa Access Road. Northerly winds expected to continue in zone closest to Hay River and the Katlodeeche First Nation – which would push the fire back on itself in the area.

“Monday, a return to hot conditions and forecast southerly winds – expected to be very challenging for the team responding to this wildfire in Hay River, Katlodeeche First Nation, and Kakisa.”

Both Hay River and KFN remain on evacuation order. Crews are active in all three communities. Military personnel and firefighters from Ontario are being deployed to assist with the fire suppression. Structural and blacklining work has been completed.

On Aug. 19, Municipal and Community Affairs minister Shane Thompson said about 30 individuals were still in Kakisa during a press conference. As of 2016 Kakisa’s population is 36.

“We’ve been encouraging people there,” he said. “We have actually people from Kakisa here in Fort Simpson who have evacuated there.

“Those 30 people were evacuated to Dori point. They wanted to stay there but have moved back into the community now. We’ve have military support and some Alberta firefighters in that community as well. We’re encouraging them to get out. But if the community residents don’t want to leave, that’s the problem. They understand the situation and they’ve made their decision.”

READ MORE: Hay River RCMP phone line is down

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

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