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    Cooler and Wetter Weather Helping With Fire Suppression Efforts in Territory

    Yukon Protective Serices say the 14,400-hectare Hunker Summit fire remains out-of-control as of Friday morning (Photo courtesy of Yukon Protective Services).

    While Yukon Protective Services personnel say at least three prominent fires in the territory have received precipitation in the last 24 hours, there remains a risk of new lighting-caused fires emerging in the territory over the weekend.

    Yukon Protective Services say cooler and wetter conditions in the Klondike area have slightly improved firefighting conditions in the area.

    Yukon Protective Services say the 14,450-hectare Hunker Summit fire received just over a millimeter of rain yesterday. They say crews recently conducted mop-up and patrol efforts along Dominion Creek Road and are conducting suppression efforts on the guard system adjacent to Flat Creek to help tackle the blaze. The fire is currently three kilometers away from the Klondike Highway.

    Crews note the other  prominent 83000-hectare Pigue Creek fire in the Klondike region received over three millimetres of rain yesterday. Crews says they are continuing suppression efforts north of the McQuesten Airstrip and are working to build guard between the Stewart River and the Klondike Highway as part of their suppression efforts on that fire.

    Yukon Wildland Fire Information Officer Mike Fancie highlights that piloting activity along the Klondike Highway has also been suspended with the changing weather.

    "Due to decreased fire activity, there is less smoke. That means the pilot cars are currently off the road (North Klondike Highway). Should conditions change, we will reinstate the piloting so that  folks can continue to cross the highway safely."

    Despite the the Snag Campground fire near Beaver Creek recently growing to over 2300 hectares, Fancie highlights that the wetter conditions have helped with fire mitigation efforts in that area.  

    "We also did get a  significant amount of rain, six millimetres, as well as some cooler temperatures and high relative humidity that meant fire activity by Beaver Creek was also quite low. We were able to complete work on some sites that required structure protection. Like up in Dawson, the Alaskan Highway remains open." 

    Fancie notes there's potential for more lightning-caused fires as well to start up in Yukon heading into the weekend.

    "The big story heading into the weekend is the forecast of lightning. Today as well as yesterday , we're looking at some lightning activity across most of central and southern Yukon. That provides the opportunity for further new wildfires to start over the next week. We have our eyes on those lightning strikes and we will be monitoring those to see if there's any smoke that appears."

    There are currently 40 active wildfires burning in the territory.

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