Mining camps prepare for wildfires

Two mining camps, the Casino mine site and a mine near Scroggie Creek, are getting ready for neighbouring fires as 12 new fires have started since Sunday. Firefighters are installing sprinkler systems at both camps, since both fires are within two kilometres of the sites. The Scroggie Creek fire is about 300 hectares in size.

Two mining camps, the Casino mine site and a mine near Scroggie Creek, are getting ready for neighbouring fires as 12 new fires have started since Sunday.

Firefighters are installing sprinkler systems at both camps, since both fires are within two kilometres of the sites.

The Scroggie Creek fire is about 300 hectares in size, while the one near Casino in the Beaver Creek district is about 400 hectares big.

The camps haven’t been evacuated yet but are “in close communications” with fire officials, said George Maratos, spokesperson for the Yukon Wildland Fire Management.

Firefighters are currently dealing with a total of 49 forest fires across the territory.

Fires in wilderness zones, areas far enough that they don’t pose a threat to any community or infrastructure, are monitored but not actioned by firefighters; nine out of the 12 fires that started on Sunday are in wilderness zones.

In the past week, there has been 10 to 12 new fires per day.

The 72 firefighters who arrived on Saturday from Ontario have been a “huge support” said Maratos.

“We’ve more than doubled our firefighting resource,” he said.

A fire 83 kilometres northwest of Watson Lake is sending some smoke and ash to the community but remains in a wilderness zone.

Depending on weather conditions, Whitehorse residents might also see some smoke from a fire burning 30 kilometres east of Lake Laberge.

“We just ask people to take the necessary steps if they have breathing issues or are asthmatic: don’t do strenuous activities outside,” said George Maratos.

Burning permits are still suspended throughout the territory, and while campfires are still permitted outside of Whitehorse city limits and Kluane National Park, officials are urging people to only use them if necessary and to be responsible.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at

pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

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