Preparations are happening today, Thursday, for what’s expected to be very challenging day tomorrow in regards to the wildfire threatening Hay River.
The latest update on Thursday afternoon showed the fire at 417,359 hectares with the distances still unchanged: 1 km west of the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport and 1.5 km west of the town centre. No new losses were reported from the night before and the fire did not make any significant gains toward any sort of landmark in the area.
Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer with the Department of Environment and Climate Change, stated that foggy conditions that started the day Thursday were expected to lift by the afternoon with light winds from the west expected. Rain was forecast, but that was expected to come in the form of a thunderstorm; the expected 1 to 3 mm precipitation wouldn’t make much of a difference, Westwick added.
Friday, though, is expected to be a rough one, stated Westwick, with dry conditions and westerly winds gusting as high as 60 km/h throughout the day. That would push the fire to the east and right toward the town.
Westwick stated there is potential for upwards of 20 km eastward spread along Highway 5 towards the Highway 5/6 junction because of the expected wind gusts.