GNWT officials are asking drivers to stop speeding on Highway 1, as they are putting firefighters lives at risk.

A message market “URGENT” was sent out by NWT Wildfire Information Officer Mike Westwick at 3:07 p.m. Sept. 9.

“We are having severe problems with speeders in zones where firefighters are working, and drivers ignoring signage urging caution,” he said. “It is causing unsafe conditions. If the negligence continues, we may need to pull firefighters out of the area to protect their safety. As we have said before: firefighters are active and working to protect things people care about across Highway 1 area.

“We know those coming back to the capital are eager to get home. But please – be patient, be cautious, and be careful. Because if you aren’t, it may mean firefighting efforts are paused in an active fire area – which no one wants – or firefighters getting hurt or killed.”

Westwick cautioned that no firefighters have been pulled from the area as of yet.

Yesterday, NT RCMP issued a warning saying they had seen an uptick in speeders, with some vehicles being clocked as high as 50 kilometres over the posted limit.

“We understand that people are eager to return home, but the speed limit is in place for a reason,” said Hay River RCMP Cpl. Sheldon Preston. “Crews are already putting themselves in danger every day to fight these fires without having to deal with dangerous drivers.

“Those who choose to jeopardize the safety of everyone on the highway, including themselves, should expect to be ticketed.”

The notice adds speeders not only put wildfire crews working on highways at risk, there is also the risk of debris on the highway like fallen trees as a result of the wildfires.

Eric Bowling

Your source for all things happening in the Beaufort Delta. Eric jumped at the chance to write for the Inuvik Drum after cutting his teeth in Alberta. He enjoys long walks, loud music and strong coffee....

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