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No return date set for NWT wildfire evacuations, Thompson says

No return date for the NWT Fire evacuation has been set and could be different depending on the community.

Return dates for NWT fire evacuees remains unknown and could vary depending on the community.

Municipal and Community Affairs Minister said the GNWT needs to assess each situation individually.

“It’s about the safety,” he said. "We don't want to bring people back and have to send them back out again."

“We need to make sure essential services is returned before we start bringing everyone else in.”

Smaller communities may only need a day or two to settle in again while Yellowknife with its some-20,000 residents will likely need longer, Thompson suggested.

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty said a reopening plan is in progress.

"We just want to be prepared when we make the call that we get people back as quick as possible," she said. "I'm sure there will be hiccups as there always is in items but the work is underway." 

Wildfire information officer Mike Westwick acknowledged that there are rumours spreading about return dates, among other topics. He asked residents to stop spreading information that doesn’t come from official sources.

“We’re seeing a lot of rumours, speculation and misinformation,” he said. “One of (the rumours) we’ve been battling is there been suggestions from folks saying there is no fire here.

“These kinds of things create division when everyone is trying to respond to an emergency. We need to be the most together.”

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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