Canada’s Northwest Territories under siege Yellowknife faces wildfire threat


Canada’s Northwest Territories are under siege as a colossal wildfire inches closer to Yellowknife, the territory’s largest city. As reported by The Guardian, the daunting fire was a mere 10 miles from the city by Tuesday evening.

Yellowknife, housing around 20,000 inhabitants, has been issued an evacuation alert for its peripheries, while a 22-mile segment of Highway 3, the city’s primary connecting route to Canada, is being cleared of residents. The region’s environment and climate change minister, Shane Thompson, emphasized, “We are in a crisis situation, and our government is mobilizing all available resources.”

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Citing imminent threats, NWT Fire projected that the expansive blaze, covering 163,000-hectares (402,000 acres), might intercept the highway by Thursday. In a statement relayed by Reuters, they stated, “Yellowknife is under considerable risk. Collaborating closely with the City of Yellowknife, our team is exhausting every measure to curb the wildfire’s expansion and safeguard the community.”

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Local authorities are issuing frequent advisories, cautioning residents about potential ashfall and pervasive smoke. As the situation intensifies, Yellowknife’s populace has been alerted to a more expansive evacuation mandate, with thousands from five adjacent communities in the territory already directed to relocate.

This wildfire season is recorded as Canada’s most catastrophic, with over 1,000 active wildfires nationally. Alarmingly, 230 of these are concentrated in the Northwest Territories. A testament to the season’s devastation, the recent firestorm almost wiped out the hamlet of Enterprise near Alberta, with a staggering 90% of it razed. Additionally, Hay River’s community is precariously close to an evacuation deadline, as expressed by Mayor Kandis Jameson.

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Compounding the crisis, an ongoing heatwave has shattered 19 heat records across Western Canada on Tuesday. This unprecedented heat is exacerbating the surge of wildfires that currently besiege the nation.

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