Carmacks fires close campgrounds, highway

Wildfires in the Carmacks area have shut down campgrounds and the Robert Campbell Highway. The fire near Little Salmon River has been burning for more than two weeks on both sides of the highway.

Wildfires in the Carmacks area have shut down campgrounds and the Robert Campbell Highway.

The fire near Little Salmon River has been burning for more than two weeks on both sides of the highway.

The road has been closed for the most part to traffic over the last few days, although it has been opened for short windows, when possible, in the mornings and evenings when fire activity has been low.

The second Carmacks fire is burning near Mandanna Lake. Both fires are very active, although smoke and clouds in the area quieted fire activity yesterday.

Carmacks residents can expect continued smoky conditions, and have been advised to be ready in case an evacuation becomes necessary.

“We are asking residents to just prepare themselves – as we ask all Yukoners – to have a 72-hour emergency kit,” said George Maratos, fire information officer.

So far no evacuation notice has been issued, however officials are in the community planning for a potential emergency.

Paddlers are advised to avoid the Yukon River near Carmacks as well as the Little Salmon River due to smoky and potentially dangerous conditions.

Drury Creek, Frenchman Lake, Little Salmon, Nunatuk and Tatchun Lake campgrounds are closed because of the wildfire activity.

About 120 firefighters and other personnel have arrived or will arrive soon from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

They will provide relief to firefighters already in the territory and be on hand in the event of more fire outbreaks.

The fire danger rating continues to be extreme in Whitehorse and across central Yukon.

Tuesday saw two new fire outbreaks near the Teslin River in the Whitehorse district.

They currently pose no threat to communities or cabins, but continue to be monitored.

A fire that has been burning for two weeks near Aishihik Lake has been very active in recent days, resulting in very smoky conditions.

It is 35 kilometres northeast of Haines Junction, but does not pose an imminent threat to the community or other structures. Officials continue to monitor that fire closely.

The Ethel Lake fire, burning for more than a month 20 kilometres south of Mayo, has become active again and is also being closely monitored.

No fire ban is in place, but Yukoners are asked to keep campfires small and make sure they are extinguished.

Smoky conditions are forecast to continue in the Whitehorse area through today and tomorrow.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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