Canadian Underwriter

N.W.T. extends wildfire state of emergency

August 30, 2023   by The Canadian Press

Evacuees from Yellowknife queue up to get gas

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YELLOWKNIFE – A state of emergency in the Northwest Territories has been extended until Sept. 11.

The territorial government declared it on Aug. 15 as wildfires threatened several communities, including the capital, Yellowknife.

The move was meant to allow the government to marshal the resources it needed to protect the health and safety of residents during an unprecedented wildfire season.

Nearly 70 per cent of the territory’s population – including some 20,000 Yellowknifers – are seeking refuge in Alberta and beyond until the danger has subsided.

Officials said earlier this week that the fire burning outside Yellowknife was being held, but it was still not safe to return.

N.W.T. Premier Caroline Cochrane is scheduled to tour an evacuation centre in Edmonton today alongside federal ministers Randy Boissonnault and Dan Vandal, as well as Mayor Amarjeet Sohi.


Feature image: Evacuees from Yellowknife, territorial capital of the Northwest Territories, queue up to get gas at Big River Service in Ft. Providence, N.W.T., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Bill Braden