Wildfire blazes near Yukon’s sole fibre optic line

Despite a fire burning a mere 3.5 kilometres from the only fibre-optic cable linking the Yukon to Outside, the risk of losing Internet and cell service are low, officials said Wednesday.

Despite a fire burning a mere 3.5 kilometres from the only fibre-optic cable linking the Yukon to Outside, the risk of losing Internet and cell service are low, officials said Wednesday.

Around noon, Northwestel issued a news release warning that the fire posed a “potential imminent threat” to the territory’s fibre-optic connection. But a short time later the company scaled back the likelihood of such a disruption to being “unlikely.”

Thirty firefighters and five helicopters are currently battling this fire, Wildland Fire Management spokesperson George Maratos said at a news conference jointly held with Northwestel in the afternoon.

“We’ve had resources on this fire from the initial start,” he said.

Wind is pushing the fire away from the Alaska Highway and the fibre optic line.

Firefighters are working on putting sprinklers on cabins near the fire and are digging fire guards.

Rainy conditions are expected overnight, which should ease the fire conditions, said Maratos.

“I want to reinforce for Yukoners that this information is provided at this time only as a precaution and further information will be provided should the situation change,” said Andrew Anderson, Northwestel’s communications director, during the press conference.

If Yukon’s fibre-optic cable was severed, landline phone services would still continue to work, Anderson said.

An even bigger concern for firefighters is that the smoke created by the fire could impact several roadways, including the Alaska Highway.

While the fibre-optic cable is mostly buried underground, it runs along the surface in areas where workers couldn’t plow through, for example in rivers and creeks.

Contact Pierre Chauvin at pierre.chauvin@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

‘Our people’s patience is running thin’: VGFN citizens concerned about low salmon count, councillor says

Darius Elias said meetings with Alaskan counterparts have been arranged this year

YG, Liard First Nation reach Resource Gateway agreement

The agreement will allow the first phase of the Nahanni Range Road portion of the project to proceed

Forensics specialist testifies at Carmacks man’s murder trial

Cpl. Vanessa Philpott tells jury stains believed to be blood found inside Wilfred Charlie’s house

Second Avenue study nears completion

City engineer promises that the document will be made public at a roundtable discussion

Claims process for Indian day schools settlement opens

Eight Yukon day schools are on the final approved list of facilities covered by the settlement

Twelve impaired drivers nabbed in nine days, RCMP says

‘It’s truly staggering to discover the number of people who are still getting behind the wheel while impaired’

Yukonomist: A zero-carbon replacement for our LNG plant

Consider small, modular nuclear reactors

Nicolas Petit wins Copper Basin 300

Rob Cooke was the lone Yukoner to finish, placing 12th

City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from the Jan. 9th meeting of Whitehorse city council

Commentary: Burning wood for energy is not a climate-friendly policy

New projects to increase the use of wood and wood products as energy sources should not be promoted

Yukonomist: Yukon risks 2020

It might not be a terrible idea to take advantage of quiet in January to update your emergency kit

Holiday Hockey Tournament an all-ages affair in Dawson City

“Everybody is making it about the kids and making sure that they’re having a good time”

Most Read