There’s been plenty of rain in Hay River since Saturday night, but it still won’t be enough to make any significant dent in the growth of the flames.
The Sunday morning update on the Hay River-Kakisa wildfire showed it had grown to 462,749 hectares and sat 1 km west of the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport. To the east, it was half a kilometre away from the industrial area east of downtown and the hospital.
The big jump happened near Highway 2 as the embers got to within 100 metres of the road, according to Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer with the Department of Environment and Climate Change, but the fire was held back courtesy of around 10 airtankers and a fleet of helicopters knocking down problem areas.
No new structure losses were reported overnight and Westwick stated that an assessment will be done over the next two days to see what the situation looks like.
But the rain has helped a bit with an estimated 17 mm falling since around 10 p.m. Saturday evening, according to Westwick. That, along with winds out of the north, will see the fire activity go down and there’s no progression expected in the next two days.
Westwick warned, though, that it’s the only rain expected in the forecast for quite some time and it’s expected to become drier and warmer as the week goes on. He stated that people and equipment will be put into position Saturday to start digging up and extinguishing all forest fuel within the edges of the fire closest to Hay River and surrounded populated area.