The combination of wildfires, flooding, road closures, washouts, telecommunications interruptions and poor air quality impelled the Yukon government’s Emergency Coordination Centre to issue a territory-wide travel advisory. This decision took a 180-degree turn four days later.
In a July 12 update to the initial advisory alert, the Emergency Coordination Centre said leisure travel is allowed as the government is continuing to respond to emergencies amid cooler weather and road re-openings across the territory.
“Visitation to the Yukon is safe and welcome, although travellers are encouraged to plan ahead and research local conditions.”
In the original July 8 advisory attributed to spokesperson Kat Hallett, Yukon residents and visitors were asked to seriously consider their travel plans as the weekend approaches.
“The Yukon is currently experiencing many emergencies,” reads the advisory.
“Wildfires and flooding have triggered evacuation alerts in several Yukon communities and campgrounds, and have led to numerous road closures and washouts. The territory has been further challenged by widespread telecommunications interruptions and poor air quality.”
The reason given for the travel advisory is to “ensure responder and public safety.”
“This is for [Yukoners’] own safety, and for the safety of emergency responders, residents in impacted areas and the movement of essential supplies and equipment,” the advisory said.
Those who must travel were asked to expect delays and long waits on roadways; keep a grab-and-go bag with extra food and water in the vehicle; do not interfere with emergency response operations and follow instructions from officials; respect closures and advisories communities have in place; be self-sufficient when it comes to groceries, extra gas and chargers for the duration of a trip because supplies and resources are limited in communities; and be prepared to change plans given the situation could quickly change.
“Do not travel unless you absolutely have to, especially to areas under evacuation alerts,” reads the original advisory.
Contact Dana Hatherly at firstname.lastname@example.org