Yukon air tankers help fight BC fires

Four Yukon fire-prevention aircraft have answered the call to protect parched northern BC forests from a potential slate of weekend fires.

Four Yukon fire-prevention aircraft have answered the call to protect parched northern BC forests from a potential slate of weekend fires.

The aircraft, which are part of the Whitehorse-based Firecats airtanker group, arrived in Prince George last Monday night, said a release from Yukon wildlands fire management.

“We’re looking at the possibility of elevated fire activity, maybe this weekend or the coming week, so we’ve asked if the Yukon can assist our preparations for that,” said BC Forest Service spokesperson Kim Steinbart.

Fire risk throughout the Yukon remains at a ‘low’ rating, except Old Crow, which has been rated ‘moderate’.

Since April, British Columbia fire crews have responded to 762 fires throughout the province. Yukon fire crews have only responded to 53 wildfires.

Stable fire conditions have left Yukon crews relatively flexible in responding to out-of-territory fires. In late June, the Firecats responded to assistance calls from near Fort St. John.

“You guys are up there drowning in rain, and we are seeing some hot temperatures coming in the next little while — so we’re just amping up our resources for that,” said Steinbart.

“We’re well below average this year,” said Yukon fire information officer George Maratos.

The Firecats can immediately return to Yukon service should local fire conditions heat up.

“Under the (resource sharing) agreement, we can recall them with 24 hours notice,” said Maratos.

Six British Columbia air tankers had been assisting in quelling the record-setting fires raging throughout California.

As of Tuesday, increasing fire risk has forced BC to recall three of those tankers for domestic service.

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

Just Posted

Phase two of the Yukon’s reopening plan could start July 1

New phase would include travel between B.C. and the Yukon

Spas, hair salons, tattoo parlours and more ready for reopening

Many personal services shops set June date to offically welcome back customers

Community Development Fund awards announced

January intake sees $1.4 million for 24 community projects

Alaskan telecom finishes fibre line linking state to Lower 48 via the Yukon

Northwestel is among the Canadian companies carrying MTA’s traffic down south

Civil liberties group pens letter questioning Yukon’s COVID-19 border restrictions

Canadian Civil Liberties Association arguing the Yukon’s border control measures are unconstitutional

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week. June… Continue reading

Pilot Station salmon sonar to go ahead this season

The Pilot Station sonar, located near the mouth of the Yukon River… Continue reading

Renovations start at LePage Park

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association has started a resurfacing project for… Continue reading

Contract awarded for mixed-income housing project

The Yukon government has awarded a $16.8-million contract to build the mixed-income… Continue reading

Watson Lake man charged with gun offences after break-and-enter

Alfred Magun, 60, was arrested and charged with eight offences

Top of the World Highway border crossings remain closed

The Little Gold Creek and Poker Creek border crossings will remain closed… Continue reading

Gymnasts return to Polarettes

Club reopens, summer camps also approved

Yukon College becomes Yukon University

Yukon College has officially become Yukon University, or “YukonU.” The post-secondary institution… Continue reading

Most Read