Fire warning to campers, canoeists and miners

There are currently 23 fires burning in the territory. Of highest concern are six active fires in the gold fields around Dawson City, said fire information officer George Maratos. "There's a lot of mining camps out there," he said. "It's a lot of work that's going on there to protect properties from some pretty large, active fires."

There are currently 23 fires burning in the territory.

Of highest concern are six active fires in the gold fields around Dawson City, said fire information officer George Maratos.

“There’s a lot of mining camps out there,” he said. “It’s a lot of work that’s going on there to protect properties from some pretty large, active fires.”

For example, dredge No. 10 and the numerous mining camps in the area, near Gold Run Creek, have been successfully protected from a fire that has grown to 2,290 hectares, or approximately 4,580 football fields.

At this point, no camps have been evacuated and, apart from the unpleasant working conditions because of all the smoke, mining activity has not been seriously affected, said Maratos.

The other major concern is a fire in the Carmacks area, which has grown to 12,380 hectares, or about the size of 24,760 football fields.

At about 72 kilometres east of Carmacks and roughly 20 kilometres downstream of the confluence of the Teslin and Yukon rivers, this fire is active and aggressive on both sides of the river, said Maratos.

“We’re advising travelers on the water not to do so in that area,” he said. “It’s dangerous, smoky.”

A protection plan made up of large sprinkler kits, among other things, has protected the S.S. Evelyn historical site, which is in the region. There are no current concerns for the community of Carmacks, he said.

Another aggressive, 5,400-hectare fire in the Carmacks area is on the northeast side of Frenchman Lake. Because of the smoke, crews haven’t been able to measure how far it is from nearby campgrounds but the Frenchman Lake, Nunatuk and Tatchun Lake campgrounds have all been closed because of it.

“They just did that as a precautionary measure,” he said. “But we have a lot of campgrounds in the territory, best to choose somewhere else.”

More than anything, because of the high amount of smoke and effects to water travel, these fires are impacting many people, said Maratos.

Twenty-four BC firefighters have been called up to the territory, with six stationed at Dawson, Mayo, Carmacks and in Whitehorse. BC hasn’t seen too much activity so far this season, which is unusual, so they have been available to help out in the Yukon and Alaska.

Despite the size of these fires, things are under-control, said Maratos, explaining the recent, and predicted, cooler temperatures are helping.

But all the resources available are being put towards these lightening-started fires, and fire management would like to keep it that way.

“The last thing we want to do is take those resources and go fight a fire that’s in a community and was human-cased,” said Maratos. “We’re pretty lucky, most people have common sense and we ask that that continues.”

The Stewart-Cassiar Highway remains closed near the BC border.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history


Wyatt’s World for May 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Copies of the revised 2021-22 budget documents tabled in the legislature on May 14. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Liberals introduce new budget with universal dental and safe supply funding

The new items were added to secure the support of the NDP.

Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn speaks to reporters on May 13. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Cap on rent increases will take effect May 15

The rollout of the policy is creating ‘chaos,’ says opposition

Yukon News file
A 21-year-old man is in custody after a stabbing in Porter Creek on May 14.
One man in hospital, another in custody, after alleged stabbing in Porter Creek

A police dog was used to track the suspect who was later arrested in a wooded area.

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Most Read