A group of citizens banded together to fight a fire near Prelude Lake on June 13.
Dan Hosfeld, who’s family lives near a NorthwesTel tower in the Prelude Lake area, said he noticed the fire after a lightning strike.
“We saw the lightning strike and went inside,” said Hosfeld. “A few minutes later I checked outside and saw the smoke. When I went up to the tower, I saw the fire.”
Hosfeld – along with his brother, nephew and friend – fought the fire for about an hour and a half, he said.
Facebook photos show the individuals fighting the blaze with shovels.
“We were able to extinguish most (of it),” said Hosfeld. “Once it was out, it started to rain.”
Hosfeld contacted the RCMP and were informed that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources would be responding.
About 20 minutes after that, a water bomber flew over the area but it did not make any drops, he said.
ENR sent an air tanker group out to the fire but due to heavy rain hampering the fire, pilots couldn’t see the fire or the smoke when they arrived, said Amber Simpson, a wildfire information officer for ENR during a media briefing on June 17.
“For their own safety we don’t promote the public going and actioning fires,” said Simpson.
“You need to be really well-versed in fire behaviour and have the proper equipment… so just for the public’s safety, we would ask that you don’t go action fires.”
Simpson said the best thing people can do when they spot a wildfire is to call the NWT fire line at 1-877-NWT-FIRE or 1-877-698-3473.