Skip to content

Yukon Wildland Fire to receive fresh out-of-territory help

Resources inbound from Ontario and the Maritimes
A Yukon Wildland Fire patch pictured on June 9, 2022. (Yukon News Files)

Although new fires continue to spring up around the northern and central regions of the Yukon, Wildland Fire Management will be receiving some fresh out-of-territory assistance.

As crews were hard at work dealing with new fires last week and over the past weekend, an out-of-territory crew had to rotate home. That resource gap will be filled and then some by the middle of next week as an initial-attack crew from Newfoundland and an ignition specialist and fire behaviour analyst, both from Ontario, are expected to arrive Aug. 4. A 20-person unit crew from Nova Scotia also arrives next Wednesday.

Wildland Fire Management spokesperson Mike Fancie said Wildland Fire is still looking for more helicopters, but progress is being made as people and groups with helicopters are looking for ways to free them up for firefighting. Fancie expressed gratitude for these efforts.

This week’s lightning primarily affected the central and northern parts of the territory. According to Wildland Fire, since July 23, there have been 47 new fires in the Dawson fire district, 22 in the Mayo district and 20 in the Old Crow area. The Carmacks district saw six new fires, the Ross River District two and the Whitehorse area saw one, the latter of which saw a Wildland Fire crew dispatched alongside the Whitehorse Fire Department. The Beaver Creek, Haines Junction, Teslin and Watson Lake fire districts have seen no new fires over the past 10 days.

As of the morning of Aug. 4, there were 110 active wildfires in the territory, and almost 91,000 hectares of forest have burned this season. Full firefighting is ongoing on 10 fires, while a further 10 are seeing a modified response and 53 are being monitored.

Evacuation alerts due to wildfires remain in place for the Sixtymile area south of the Top of the World Highway, an area along the Silver Trail and the Dublin Gulch area, including Victoria Gold’s Eagle Gold mine, which was evacuated briefly earlier this week but promptly reoccupied with structure protection and an evacuation plan in place.

The mine had been threatened by the East McQuesten fire, which is currently 5,890 hectares in size.

Two new fires in the Mayo area were promptly contained as airtankers and heavy equipment worked on the Moose Creek Headwater fire in the Mayo fire district, and crews also quickly controlled the Talbot Creek II fire after it ignited alongside the Silver Trail.

Another area seeing support is Old Crow, where Wildland Fire has stated it sent one of its most experienced officers to conduct fire monitoring and to develop a response plan for the fires near the community in the event it is needed. Conditions remain smoky there, but according to Wildland Fire, the community is not under threat.

The Wildland Fire crew tackling the Eagle River fire, currently burning about 465 hectares, have been staying at the Eagle Plains Lodge when not on the fire line. A Facebook post on the Yukon Protective Services page shows the firefighters snuggling with puppies who Fancie said were recently born to a dog rescued by a lodge employee.

“We really appreciate the ways communities have shown up for our staff — from kind words to puppy time, we appreciate it all,” the post reads.

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
Read more