Four wildfires reported over hot weekend in Yukon

Firefighters in the Yukon are battling four forest fires that started over the unusually warm weekend.

Firefighters in the Yukon are battling four forest fires that started over the unusually warm weekend.

Two of the fires are in the Southern Lakes region, one in the Klondike region and one in the Kluane region.

Five crews, two helicopters and an air tanker responded to a lightning-caused fire 20 kilometres northwest of Johnsons Crossing. The seven-hectare fire can be seen from the Alaska Highway but is not expected to affect the highway.

Another fire, 1.2 kilometers west of the Takhini Hot Springs, was quickly contained by firefighters. The human-caused fire is expected to be put out June 12, said George Maratos, a spokesperson for Yukon Wildland Fire Management.

But the fire in the Klondike region, 70 kilometres southeast of Dawson City, is the largest of the four, at 683 hectares. The fire is burning in wilderness and poses no threat to nearby areas.

“We will continue to monitor it,” said Yukon Duty Officer Lorne Harris in a news release. “However, the forecasted precipitation may reduce growth of the fire significantly.”

Three of the fires were caused by lightning including the one in Kluane region, 65 kilometres northeast of Beaver Creek. Firefighters are keeping a close eye on the 3.5-hectare fire that is burning 11 kilometres away from an airstrip.

So far this season, 17 fires have burned 3,582 hectares of forest.

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