Hay River received a significant amount of rain on Saturday, but all it did was give crews a bit of breathing room for the next couple of days.
The Monday update from NWT Fire showed that the blaze sat at 465,611 hectares. Distance-wise, it was still 1 km west of the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport and a half-kilometre west of both the industrial area and hospital. It’s now a half-kilometre away from the West Point First Nation and still 7 km away from a residential area of the K’atl’odeeche First Nation.
There were no new losses overnight, according to Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer for the Department of Environment and Climate Change. The situation was to be assessed again on Monday.
Westwick also said that clear conditions were expected on Monday with some humidity. The temperature was expected to be cooler than in past days, which is expected to keep fire activity down. Winds were also supposed to stay relative, gusting to around 15 km/h.
Westwick said helicopters equipped with buckets of water are going after hot spots on Monday to cool them down, while bulldozers and other heavy machinery would be tightlining — digging away fuel sources near the fire — from the shores of Great Slave Lake through the entire Hay River corridor to the Highway 1 junction to the west of the town.
Frontline crews would be following behind the tightlining to do blacklining — removing anything hot or burning near the fire — to continue building the perimeter around populated areas.