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Hot dry weather coming to the Yukon as almost 70 fires burn

Crews are working on three fires near Pelly Crossing.
Fire crews are working on the Ta’tla Mun fire, south of Pelly Crossing. (Yukon Protective Services/Facebook)

The flames could spread this weekend with an expected bout of hot, dry weather.

Wildland Fire crews are still working to control the 26 new fires started last week, many of which were started by lightning and briefly stunted by the last few days of rain.

There are three fires in the Carmacks district. Their focus is putting protecting infrastructure near the Ta’tla Mun, Ptarmigan Mountain, and Bear Feed Creek fires. Smoke from these fires may be seen from Pelly and the North Klondike Highway but according to the Yukon Government’s Wildland Fire Management service, the highway and town are not at risk.

As of July 29, the Ta’tla Mun fire, caused by lightning, had burned 4,050 hectares south of Pelly Crossing. It is approximately 20 km from Pelly Crossing and about 25 km east of the North Klondike Highway.

The fire that started near Bear Feed Creek is burning at approximately 2,500 hectares north of Little Salmon Lake. According to Wildland Fire it is highly visible from the Robert Campbell Highway but there is no immediate risk to the highway or sites along it.

The Ptarmigan Mountain fire, burning at 1,500 hectares is on the opposite side of the mountain from Pelly Crossing and is no threat to the town.

Near Dawson, crews are continuing to work on several fires. Wildland Fire crews are holding a control line around the Bell Creek fire and mop-up work is ongoing on the Dominion Creek fire.

Elsewhere, the Lake Laberge fire which has been burning since early July is now over 5,000 hectares in size. As it is burning along the Yukon and Teslin rivers near Hootalinqua travellers and river users in the area should be aware of changing conditions

Travellers using the Robert Campbell highway near the Tuchita River fire, now more than 9,000 hectares, should also keep an eye on conditions. Those driving the highway between Watson Lake and Ross River are advised to check 511 for road conditions before setting out.

Fire information officer Julia Duchesne said over the coming weekend, temperatures will be warm across the territory and humidity will be fairly low, creating ideal conditions for new fires to start. She added that there is a possibility of rain and thundershowers on Sunday.

As there are almost 70 fires burning in the territory, Duchesne said it is very important to avoid adding to that total with human-caused fires. She asked people to be especially careful with campfires over the next week, keeping an eye on the fires and ensuring they are doused with water and completely extinguished before leaving them.

The fire danger rating is low or moderate across much of the territory with pockets of high danger. Duchesne said the fire danger is likely to increase to high in other areas but people should be cautious at all times as a fire can start and spread at any danger rating.

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.
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