The situation hasn’t changed since Sunday when it comes to the huge wildfire in Hay River, but Mayor Kandis Jameson said on Monday afternoon there’s still a long way to go.
Jameson gave another press conference from Edmonton, where she was evacuated to as the fire roared into Hay River on Friday evening.
She said parts of the town lost power for just over 24 hours once the heavy flames moved into the area, but everything is back up and running now, meaning no one should be worried about potential losses inside their homes.
“I don’t think there will be an issue with food loss in homes and all of our infrastructure is good,” she said.
Patrick Bergen, the town’s assistant senior administrative officer, added that a generator is also providing power to the town.
The latest update from NWT Fire on Monday morning showed the fire sitting at 417,359 hectares with the flames 1 km west of the Hay Rivert Merlyn Carter Airport and 1.5 km west of the town centre.
The fire has reached Paradise Garden and Patterson Road, with significant damage reported in both of those areas. But there was no new damage following an assessment on Sunday, even as the fire crossed Highway 5 between kilometre 6 and 20, as well as Highway 2 in several areas near the Highway 5 junction.
Kakisa is till not under threat as of Monday; the fire sat around 12 km southeast of the community. K’atl’odeeche First Nation is also protected somewhat as significant burned area surrounding its most populated area from the fire earlier this year is shielding the worst.
Jameson said she would do anything she could to make sure those who lost anything got all the help they needed.
“I look at Enterprise and they took in so many people during the last evacuation,” she said. “We all work together, we’re neighbours, we grew up together and that’s what makes those relationships so much closer. I will do whatever I have to do — I’ll move mountains — to help people who lost homes.”
When it comes to more boots on the ground to help fight the fire, Jameson said it’s all about trying to find crews that can come and help.
“We’ve had tons of support already from Ontario, Alberta, New Brunswick — they’ve left their homes to come and help save ours,” she said. “I’m doing what I can to try and get more boots out there.”
Jameson also said she knows it’s tough when there’s very little information coming through, but no information means there’s something going on.
“I’ve been on both ends of evacuation and I understand people are sitting on pins and needles,” she said. “We have crews tied up late into the afternoon and I know there’s a helpless feeling because you saw things burn on the way out and you’re wondering what’s going on.”