It’s forecast to be a windy day on Sunday and that means fire activity is expected to pick up once again.

Mike Westwick, the wildfire information officer for the North Slave region, stated on Sunday that the Behchoko/Yellowknife fire was unlikely to reach the city’s outskirts either Sunday or Monday, but there was the possibility that it could move up to 5 km because of winds.

Those winds were forecast to be around 20 to 25 km/h sustained with gusts up to 35 km/h. There is a chance of thundershowers and that has the potential to bring lightning.

As of 10 a.m. Sunday, the fire reached an estimated size of 167,802 hectares and still remained 15 km away from the city’s municipal boundary. It has already passed Boundary Creek and reached kilometre 314 on Highway 3.

Westwick stated that the job on Sunday was to have helicopters and tankers bombard the fire and slow its growth, so long as visibility remains good. A control line of 10 km is also being built west of the city, which will be laid out with fire retardant to try and head off the fire.

The Ingraham Trail fire was estimated to be 50,208 hectares as of Sunday morning and still sat 4 km from the north end of Prelude Lake.

Westwick stated it was unlikely that the fire would get to the trail by Monday, but it may move further south, with the entire area of the trail under threat.

The Dettah fire was measured at 49,802 hectares on Sunday, but it received a solid dumping of rain on it Saturday evening with 10 mm falling around Francois Lake. That is expected to slow its movement east for the time being.

Westwick stated that a planned ignition operation has been delayed for now. A large control line stretching from Great Slave Lake through to central Jennejohn Lake, bolstered by fire retardant, and the operation will happen when there’s a chance to head off the northward and westward growth towards the Ingraham Trail and Dettah.

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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