The Yukon government is supporting Northwest Territories with emergency response operations amid the ongoing wildfires, according to an Aug. 18 press release.
The government said it is also supporting Yellowknife residents who are evacuating their homes.
The release said four individuals from the Fire Marshals Office (three Special Heavy Operations Team members and one deputy fire marshal) were deployed along with five City of Whitehorse firefighters to work directly with the City of Yellowknife Fire Department.
Devin Bailey, an acting director at the Fire Marshals Office, said Yellowknife emergency officials made a request to send structural firefighters to assist with structural protection.
The team from the Yukon departed on Aug. 18 and is due to be back on Aug. 23. Once they landed in Yellowknife, Bailey said they were paired with a battalion of firefighters, and they supported with structural support operations.
“It sounds like they were able to control it because they had the personnel they needed,” Bailey said.
The government release added that the Emergency Measures Organization is working with Emergency Support Services to provide support and accommodations to any N.W.T. residents needing assistance.
Evacuees from the N.W.T. in Whitehorse are advised to call the emergency services at 867-332-4597 to register and discuss the availability of support.
In the release, Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said the government stands with residents of N.W.T. during the difficult time.
“We’ve all been alarmed by the wildfires around Yellowknife and the speed with which circumstances have changed,” he said. “Yukoners always stand with our neighbours, and we’re happy to have a role in keeping Yellowknife residents safe. We are hoping for a quick, successful outcome to this stressful and terrible situation.”
Per the release, Health and Social Services Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said the “stress and upset of having to leave your home and community under these circumstances is immense,” adding that the government is here to welcome the evacuees with “care and compassion and support them however we can.”
Mayor Laura Cabott said the City of Whitehorse has been in regular contact with the City of Yellowknife and the territory’s emergency management partners.
“In addition to our firefighters, the city has offered a variety of other personnel to support response and evacuation efforts, and we are ready to support in any way we can for as long as we are needed,” she said.
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