Crystal Schick/Yukon News file A helicopter flies towards the Whitehorse airport with its empty water bucket after having helped fight the Grey Mountain fire that started late on July 7.

Fire ban lifted across most of the territory

Ban remains in place at Kluane National Park

The Yukon government announced July 16 the fire ban that was in place throughout much of the territory has been lifted.

“A weekend of rainfall and a forecasted downturn in weather conditions has reduced the fire danger for most of Yukon, while allowing firefighters to make progress on a number of priority wildfires,” officials said in a statement.

The only current fire ban in the territory is in Kluane National Park, which is under the jurisdiction of Parks Canada. That ban has been in place since July 8.

Yukon Wildland Fire Management is describing the 2019 fire season as above-average with 72 fires burning 203,078 hectares so far.

That compares with a 10-year average of 162,367 ha burned by 109 fires per season.

The smell of smoke from the blazes has been evident in a number of parts of the territory throughout the season.

“About four-in-10 wildfires this year have been human-caused, up from the 10-year average of 27 per cent,” officials said.

“Yukoners are reminded to exercise caution when using fire; a wildfire can still catch and spread quickly. Do not build campfires larger than needed, and ensure all fires are completely out before leaving them. A burn permit is required from April 1 to September 30 in all areas of Yukon. You must also check with the local municipal authority for additional restrictions on burning within the municipality. All burn permits are automatically suspended when the local fire danger rating is moderate, high, or extreme.”

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