The defence for the wildfire on Hay River’s doorstep is holding firm as of Wednesday afternoon.

The latest update showed the fire sitting at 417,359 hectares and was 1 km away from the Hay River Merlyn Carter Airport on its west side. That means it’s 1.5 km from the town centre. Patterson Drive and Paradise Gardens have been hit by flames with damage caused previously, but no new damage or losses overnight, according to Mike Westwick, wildfire information officer with the Department of Environment and Climate Change.

Heavy smoke and fog in the area helped to shade the fire from the sun, he stated, keeping temperatures lower and levels of moisture in the air higher. That would’ve helped keep fire activity down Wednesday but it could pose a problem when it comes to flying and attacking the fire by air.

Crews were preparing to extinguish forest fuel and strengthen the fuel breaks to the west of the town in preparation for strong westerly winds and an expected return of hot, dry conditions on Friday, added Westwick.

Work along Highway 2 to deal with hotspots was also scheduled for Wednesday as well as completion of work to protect power lines from further fire encroachment. The fire had jumped the highway in several areas around the junction with Highway 5.

James McCarthy

I've been hanging around the office as the sports editor for the better part of the last 16 years. In August 2022, NNSL Media decided to promote me to the managing editor's position, which I accepted after...

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