The Lake Laberge forest fire is now 4,004 in size. (Yukon Protective Services/Facebook)

The Lake Laberge forest fire is now 4,004 in size. (Yukon Protective Services/Facebook)

Lightning the cause of 21 new forest fires in the territory

Of the 21 new fires, nine started on July 20

A Yukon wildland fire activity report says two human-caused fires near Aishihik Lake were reported on the weekend.

On July 17, one grew to 21 hectares and forced the closure of the road before being brought under control by wildland fire crews.

The fire that closed the road is now contained and the road reopened. People are asked to use caution around kilometre 45 where crews are still working. Conditions could be smoky.

The hot, dry conditions coupled with lightning storms on July 20 saw nine new fires start in the Yukon. Lightning has caused 21 fires this week in total.

A 0.25-hectare fire was reported in the mountains near Ross River on July 19 but it was contained and extinguished.

Two of these fires, the Ta’tla Mun which is 725-hectares and the 500-hectare Bear Feed Creek fire are both visible from the North Klondike Highway and the Robert Campbell Highway – neither roadway is threatened.

The Lake Laberge fire is 4,004 hectares large and remains active north of Hootalinqua.

Over the last seven days, there have been 23 new fires. Haines Junction had seven new blazes. Forty-eight fires are active, the Dawson City and Watson Lake areas have nine each.

There have been 72 fires in the Yukon, to date, and 58,615 hectares have burned.

Ross River and Mayo have a high fire danger rating. Haines Junction and Beaver Creek’s ratings are low, while the rest of the Yukon’s fire danger rating is moderate.

(John Tonin)