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    Two New Wildfire Starts Over the Weekend in Yukon

    An airtanker group was quick to respond to a four-hectare wildfire east of the Klondike Highway in the Twin Lakes area that started over the weekend (Photo courtesy of Yukon Protective Services)

    Two new wildfire starts over the weekend brings the total number of wildfires in the territory to 42.

    According to the Yukon Fire Map, there are 42 active wildfires in the territory.

     Yukon Wildland Fire Management Information Officer Mike Fancie says wetter weather has helped crews battle the Hunker Summit and Pigue Creek wildfires southeast of Dawson City, which are now burning at 12800 and 82850 hectares respectively.

    Fancie says there is less of a risk now for the fires to reach the North Klondike Highway in comparison to late last week.

    "What this means for us is that there is less danger for folks traveling down the North Klondike Highway.  That means our flaggers are no longer on the road.  However, there may be some reduced visibility due to smoke so we're asking people to drive with caution. On the suppression front, because of the reduced fire activity brought by rain, it has given our firefighters the chance to complete some fire guards and begin containing the fires themselves."

    Fancie says the 2300-hectare Snag Campground fire hasn't destroyed any structures within the campground itself thanks to the hard work of firefighting crews.

    "We're also happy to share the good news of our successful save of the Snag Campground. It remains closed due to some problems with trees and other tidy-up work that needs to take place. However, we're happy to report the campground was not affected directly by the Snag Campground Fire itself. The Alaska Highway also remains open and crews are continuing to suppress that fire."

    Fancie says two new fires also started over the weekend, including  one lightning-caused fire five kilometres away from Beaver Creek that is currently being held. The other new wildfire in the Twin Lakes area east of the Klondike Highway that started over the weekend isn't anticipated to spread further. 

    Fancie also advises people traveling down the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson to take some precautionary measures.

    "We have received a lot of questions from the public about whether its safe to put-in  on the Yukon River and travel down to Dawson.  We know it's popular to do this time of year.  If people are traveling up in the Fort Selkirk area (due to a local fire),  it's best to travel through that part of the river  in the morning when fire activity is normally at its lowest". 

     An  air quality advisory remains in effect for all of the Yukon due to smoke from  the wildfires. 

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