Mayor Dan Curtis speaks to media about a Whitehorse South West Fire Risk Reduction project that will create a six-kilometre fire guard along the southwest corner of Whitehrose during a press conference at the Mount Sima parking lot on Sept. 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

South wildfire prevention project in Whitehorse will cost $1.6 million

The Fire Risk Reduction project will create a six kilometre fireguard along Copper Haul Road

The federal and Yukon governments are contributing funds to a $1.6 million project aimed at protecting Whitehorse from wildfire risk.

MP Larry Bagnell, Community Services Minister John Streicker and Mayor Dan Curtis announced funding for the project on Sept. 3.

The South Fire Risk Reduction project will create a six-kilometre fireguard along the southwest corner of Whitehorse along Copper Haul Road, an area spanning roughly from Mount Sima to Mary Lake.

All conifers will be removed from the 150 hectare area, in order to create a barrier to approaching fires and allow better access for fire crews.

“There’s a whole planning process that goes on ahead of time to assess where the highest risk is and where we can have the biggest impact with our investment,” Streicker said, explaining that the project takes into account a southerly wind in Whitehorse and the surrounding mountains.

Mayor Curtis referenced wildfires in Fort McMurray, Alta., Tahltan Nation territory in British Columbia, and California as reasons to be proactive, despite a relatively wet summer season in 2020.

“So it’s not just about the safety of our citizens and the buildings and dwellings, but it’s also the safety of the brave men and women that we have fighting fires, ensuring that the fire breaks and accesses are available for them to be able to do their job properly,” he said.

The federal government is providing $1.1 million for the project, while the Yukon government is providing $487,500.

“In these unprecedented times Yukoners, and all of us, have been taking up most of our time night and day with COVID. But we’re also trying to keep everyone safe from other things like climate change, environment and things that it causes. So we can’t forget those other files,” Bagnell said.

The bidding process closed on Aug. 18, and the government is in the process of selecting a contractor. The tender included the use of removed trees as biofuel to be sold off as burnable wood fuel.

“In recognition of that value, the project’s bids were lower than they would have been if the wood were designated as salvage. This means that the project will cost Yukoners less money,” Streicker said.

Additional fire prevention projects, including the Mary Lake Shaded Fuelbreak, have a completion goal of April 1, 2024 and will involve mitigation in 396 hectares.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Wildfires

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read