It’s expected to be another hot and busy day for firefighters in Hay River as the battle against wildfires continues on Tuesday.
The latest update from NWT Fire showed that the largest fire was measured at 417,359 hectares and still sitting 1 km west of the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport and 1.5 km west of the town centre. The blaze reached Delancey Estates, but defences managed to hold the fire at bay and that meant no new losses on Monday night. There has been previous damage, though, at both Paradise Gardens and Patterson Road, as well as structure loss near the shores of Great Slave Lake — two cabins and a trailer have been destroyed.
Mike Westwick, information officer for the Department of Environment and Climate Change, stated that winds were expected to be variable Tuesday morning and shifting to northerly during the day. That would push the fire back into itself, according to Westwick.
While the wind should be on their side today, the visibility won’t be as Westwick stated that it will be less than 30 feet (nine metres) on Tuesday. That would make safe operating challenging, and flights weren’t expected to begin going up until the afternoon.
Kakisa remains in a non-threat situation as the fire sat 12 km southeast of the community. K’atl’odeeche First Nation was also in decent shape with the fire burning 7 km away from residences in the area. The reserve has plenty of burned area already and that is helping give the area a bit of protection from the most threatening wildfire.
Crews were expected to continue tightlining, which is digging away any vegetation that could be used as fuel for a fire and to help stop the flames from moving ahead. More sprinklers were expected to be deployed around dozer guards to help suppress the fire should it get closer.
The Tuesday update also indicated that a deployment of firefighters from New Zealand was set to arrive in the area as reinforcements.