Wildfire expected to affect visibility on the N.W.T.’s Highway 3

Satellite imagery, using shortwave infrared measurements, shows the fire burning near Awry Lake in the N.W.T. on Wednesday. (Sentinel-2/The European Space Agency)

There are 84 active fires in territory on Friday, including 3 new ones in past 24 hours

Drivers between Yellowknife and Behchokǫ, N.W.T.,̀ can expect to see smoke due to a wildfire burning near Highway 3.

N.W.T. Fire says lightning sparked the fire in late June and it has burned about 6,000 hectares. It is currently burning about two kilometres west of Awry Lake, about 15 kilometres from the highway.

“Tanker action has so far been ineffective,” reads an update from N.W.T. Fire.

Crews are now focused on protecting power lines and preventing growth toward the highway.

So far, the fire has not caused any road closures and neither community is at risk.

84 active fires in territory 

Overall, there are 84 active fires in the territory on Friday, including three new ones in the past 24 hours.

One was in Yellowknife, near Canadian Tire. The city’s fire department put it out. N.W.T. Fire says kids playing with matches caused the fire.

Lightning sparked a fire on the Slave River, 23 kilometres west of Fort Resolution.

The fire is “tucked on land surrounded by a bend in the river on three sides,” according to N.W.T. Fire.

Community not currently at risk

It adds that the community is not currently at risk.

“Very active fires and strong winds mean residents in Yellowknife, Behchoko, Tulita, Fort Resolution and Fort Smith can expect ash and smoke going into the weekend,” reads the update.

The line to report wildfires has also been down since July 12. Residents who want to report fire or smoke should call the Wildfire Public Information line at 867-445-5484.

-Written by Francis Tessier-Burns

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Fire services have returned to Pelly Crossing, Yukon, after a decade without, CBC News

Norway: Smoke from Canadian wildfires forecast to reach Norway, The Associated Press

Russia: New NOAA report finds vast Siberian wildfires linked to Arctic warming, The Associated Press

Sweden: Fire bans in force across large parts of Sweden, Radio Sweden

United States: Wildfires in Anchorage? Climate change sparks disaster fears, The Associated Press

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