A Yukon Wildland Fire patch pictured on June 9, 2022. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

A Yukon Wildland Fire patch pictured on June 9, 2022. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

Mayo evacuation order rescinded

Residents who had been evacuated to Whitehorse can return home

The evacuation order for the Village of Mayo that was issued on Aug. 6 was rescinded Aug. 13 allowing residents who had been staying in Whitehorse to return. The order also covered properties along the Silver Trail between kilometres 35 and 66.

An evacuation alert remains in place for returning residents and they are urged to be vigilant.

“I would like to extend once again a huge thank you to Kwanlin Dün First Nation and everyone who came out to our assistance during this time. In the coming days we’ll be sharing more gratitude to the many fire crew, organizations, and people who came out to support us. Safe travels to all of our community members and a reminder to drive safely,” First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun (FNNND) Chief Dawna Hope states in a notice to the media sent out Aug. 13 shortly after the evacuation order was lifted.

“Thank you Creator, for watching over us all!”

The FNNND notice states that Mayo looks much the same as it did when residents left last week as structure protection sprinklers and favourable weather kept buildings safe. One visible difference for the returning residents will be the trees felled to form a fire guard on the edge of the community.

A bus was scheduled to depart the Nàkwät’à Kų̀ Potlatch House in Whitehorse’s McIntyre subdivision on its way back to Mayo at 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 13 and assistance with gas was also being provided.

An additional night of accommodations were being provided in Whitehorse but the Mayo evacuees were urged to return home to free up hotel rooms for those from other communities still under evacuation order.

The fires that prompted last week’s evacuation are still burning but according to the FNNND release its important flanks have been secured.

The Talbot Creek Fire, which had been the main cause of concern when Mayo was evacuated is burning just shy of 5,000 hectares. Also nearby, the Moose Creek Headwater Firs is 1,112 hectares in size and Talbot Creek 2 is listed.

Work is still ongoing to put out the fires. The FNNND notice states that 11 fire crews are still in the area.

Elsewhere in the territory there are now 141 fires burning and 148,135 hectares have burned this summer.

Old Crow remains evacuated at this time but a Vuntut Gwitchin Government notice from Aug. 13 states that preliminary planning for rescinding the order has begun.

Contact Jim Elliot at jim.elliot@yukon-news.com