Hot days ahead in much of the N.W.T. this week

Dogs frolic in Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife on a warm, sunny day. The heat is expected to stick around for a while in much of the N.W.T. this week. (Sara Minogue/CBC)

Sunny skies and soaring temperatures have ushered in heat warnings for many areas of the N.W.T. on the heels of a warm weekend, and they’re expected to stay in place for several days yet.

By Tuesday morning, areas in the Deh Cho, North Slave, South Slave and Thebacha regions all had warnings that temperatures would reach into the high 20s.

The forecast from Environment and Climate Change Canada predicts temperatures around Fort Smith, Hay River, Fort Simpson and Fort Providence to soar into the low 30s later this week. There are also heat warnings in place for Wrigley, Wekweètı̀, Whatı̀, Gamètı̀ and Behchokǫ̀.

Late Monday afternoon, the Department of Health and Social Services issued a public advisory about the heat, warning it’s expected to last at least until Saturday.

It’s part of a larger heat wave that’s affecting much of Northern and Western Canada.

Smoke lingers in the Tłı̨chǫ

It also issued an advisory about wildfire smoke in Wekweètı̀, Whatı̀ and Behchokǫ̀, where Environment and Climate Change Canada is predicting smoke will hang in the air for the next couple days.

According to N.W.T. Fire, a wildfire on the west side of Marian Lake is expected to be sending smoke and ash into those communities, especially Whatı̀.

Jessica Davey-Quantick, a wildfire information officer with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said Monday that the territory didn’t see many new fires start over the weekend, but the department did field a lot of calls from people concerned about smoke.

She said wind and warmth can cause fires to “puff up,” causing more visible smoke.

“It doesn’t mean they’re out of control, it doesn’t mean the crews aren’t doing their jobs — it just means you’re going to see a little bit more of it because it’s responding to the weather,” Davey-Quantick said.

She said there aren’t any fires causing a safety concern or threatening communities.

The fire danger forecast is listed as high to extreme in most N.W.T. communities today, tomorrow and Thursday.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Climate change affecting composition of forests in Yukon, Canada, study finds, CBC News

Finland: Warm weather set to sweep across Finland from Monday, Yle News

Greenland: Equipment for Arctic ice survey tested this summer in German highlands, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Heatwave across northern Scandinavia, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Record-breaking heat followed by extreme cold on Russian Arctic coast, The Independent Barents Observer

United States: Could melting Arctic sea ice be responsible for U.S. wildfires?, Eye on the Arctic

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