Efforts to suppress the Hay River Wildfire SS052 are getting a boost from rainfall and the Canadian Forces.
“Yesterday was a positive day for fire activity supported by 6 and 11 mm of rain,” reads an update posted by the Town of Hay River at 10 a.m. on Aug. 18. “Heavy equipment was working on the east side of the Hay River across from Paradise Gardens to reduce risk in that area. The Electras and 802 aircraft were able to fly and make progress.
“The north winds helped push the fire back on itself restricting growth and providing opportunities to make progress on it. Hay River Fire completed fire smarting and sprinkler lines in Delancy (Estates subdivision). Health has confirmed all patients and long term care residents are out of the community and is working on a list of locations that persons have been taken to.”
The notice adds that 200 Canadian Forces personnel are en route to the town to assist in the wildfire suppression. A total of 100 are being flown in and an addition 100 are making the journey by road. The troops will be assisting in the suppression of fires in Hay River and Kakisa.
No evacuations are scheduled for Hay River today. RCMP are patrolling the community to combat looters and help anyone who is still there evacuate. Water, sewer and electricity remain intact and functioning.
Workers from Northwestel are expected to arrive in Enterprise to repair damaged infrastructure that has left the region without long distance calling or mobile phone connectivity.
“NWT Infrastructure have staff on highways 24 hours supporting people getting to Steen River,” reads the update. “The roads are gridlocked and roadblocks are in place for closed sections of highways. Hay River Fire is working on suppressing fires and hotspots back from the highway today.”
Anyone in the community with questions is asked to phone the Hay River Emergency Management Information Line at 1 (833) 699-0188 between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.