A review of the Yellowknife evacuation will be conducted by a third party.

Yellowknife Mayor Rebecca Alty announced the review during a press conference Thursday evening.

“The review completed by third party at the end of an emergency response is necessary to identify best practices, gaps and lessons learned,” she said. “We’ll discuss the review at our first council meeting back currently scheduled for noon on Monday, Sept. 25.”

On Aug. 16, Yellowknifers were told to evacuate the city by 12 p.m., Aug. 18. More than 20,000 people left the territory, either by air or driving.

On Sept. 1, the city announced a re-entry plan on its social media feed.

Essential workers were asked to return to Yellowknife by Sept. 5, and regular citizens were asked to begin returning on Sept. 6 at 12 p.m. The city then announced the road block set up at kilometre 274 on Highway 3 would open up to returning evacuees at 11 a.m.

Yellowknife remains under an evacuation alert, meaning people should be prepared to leave again on short notice.

So far, 268 people have returned to Yellowknife by air and 676 vehicles have crossed the Deh Cho Bridge in Fort Providence.

Unhoused Yellowknifers were flown out largely by flight, with Premier Caroline Cochrane spending all of Aug. 19 driving around Yellowknife to spread the word among the population. She said she’s urging people she knows to spread the word people in Edmonton and Calgary can catch a flight home if they pre-registered by Sept. 8 at 8 p.m.

Executive and Indigenous Affairs assistant deputy minister Robert Tordiff said during the press conference that the GNWT did not take demographic data of evacuees as they were flown out. He said the GNWT was putting boots on the ground to reach out to people who may have fallen through the cracks.

Officials estimate that most of Yellowknife’s unhoused people had been evacuated.

Eric Bowling

Breaking News Reporter and Digital Editor for NNSL, Eric operates out of Inuvik in the Beaufort Delta. He's four years into his Northern adventure and is eager to learn more about life in the Arctic Circle....

Join the Conversation


Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Did we really need to evacuate? It has not been that long since the fort McMurray fires. Why were fire breaks only built now? Why were they not built and maintained earlier?