The rain seen in Hay River was good, but drier conditions are taking over and that’s not good news for the wildfire in the area.

The Friday evening update from NWT Fire showed that the fire was sitting at a size of 470,511 hectares and was still 1 km west of the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport. It was a half-kilometre west of the town’s industrial area and hospital, 1.5 km east of Riverwoods Estates and a half-kilometre away from the West Point First Nation.

Winds were variable on Friday, according to Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer with the Department of Environment and Climate Change, and the temperature was in the low 20s.

Much the same is expected for Saturday with the wind forecast to come from the southeast and no rain in the forecast. That could push the small fires within the K’atl’odeeche First Nation (KFN) to the west in areas where the fire line isn’t secure, stated Westwick.

Kakisa remains at low risk as the flames sit 12 km southeast of the community right now.

Westwick stated that airtankers are making drops on the fingers of fire within KFN to cool down its edges and ensure heavy equipment and crews can continue to make progress along its edge, while heat scans have shown plenty of hot areas throughout the Hay River corridor.

Helicopters will be dropping on hot areas and look after any flare-ups, he added, and crews are in Enterprise looking after hot spots around the hamlet.

Type 1, or frontline, crews will follow behind heavy machinery in all areas to blackline (extinguish anything hot or burning within the edge of a wildfire) to build a strong perimeter around populated areas and avoid further damage, stated Westwick.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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