Unusual temperatures spark fire ban

All open fires and campfires throughout the southern portion of the territory have been banned. "We're seeing some unprecedented temperatures for this time of year," said Yukon Wildland Fire information officer George Maratos on Friday.

All open fires and campfires throughout the southern portion of the territory have been banned.

“We’re seeing some unprecedented temperatures for this time of year,” said Yukon Wildland Fire information officer George Maratos on Friday. “It’s uncharacteristic for the Yukon in mid-August.”

The weekend’s hot forecast, in the high 20s and low 30s, has put a damper on fires in Carmacks, Faro, Ross Rover, Burwash Landing, Haines Junction, Whitehorse, Teslin, Carcross, Tagish and Watson Lake.

“We thought it was in the best interest of Yukoners to issue this ban,” he said.

The ban is more severe than the one in May, when campfires in government campgrounds were still allowed.

This weekend’s ban applies to all open fires and campfires. Closed cooking devices like lidded barbecues and small cook stoves are still permitted.

The ban is expected to last for the duration of the long weekend, said Maratos. (Larissa Robyn Johnston)