Yukon Fire Crews Prepared in Case Klondike Highway Has to be Closed From Fires

    The Pigue Creek and Hunker Summit fires are now burning just kilometres away from the North Klondike Highway (Photo courtesy of Yukon Protective Services)

    Yukon Protective Service personnel say they have a plan in place in case the 83000-hectare Pigue Creek fire or the 13,000-hectare Hunker Summit fire southeast of Dawson City reach the Klondike Highway.

    Yukon Protective Service personnel say they have a plan in place in case the 83000-hectare Pigue Creek fire or the 13,000-hectare Hunker Summit fire southeast of Dawson City reach the North Klondike Highway.

    In a statement, Yukon Protective Services highlights that firefighters plan to conduct a burn-out operation of the North Klondike Highway towards the Pigue Creek wildfire at some point this afternoon. They say flaggers will be on scene at Barlow Lake and Clear Creek to pilot vehicles across the highway, which could temporarily be closed during the burn-out. 

    Yukon Wildland Fire Information Officer Mike Fancie says they're closely monitoring those two fires and their impacts on the highway at this time.

    "At some point today or tomorrow, there may be a disruption to the highway. However, due to the nature of the wildfire, it can't be pinpointed regarding if or when it's going to happen. The best thing I can advise people to do is to keep an eye on 511 Yukon to ensure they have the latest information on the state of the North Klondike Highway before you head out on the road.  If you are heading out, ensure that you also have a properly stocked emergency kit. All motorists should have one, regardless of the situation."

    Yukon Protective Services also say Dawson City has enough generator fuel to power the town in the event any of the fires impact fibre optic cables or powerlines heading into the town from the highway.

    Fancie says there are over 70 wildfire crew currently battling the two blazes, including helicopters and one air tanker group stationed in Dawson. The 2400- hectare Volcano Mountain fire northwest of Carmacks also continues to threat several values in that area.

    Fancie says the 1250-hectare Beaver Creek Area fire that forced the evacuation of Snag Campground over the weekend near the Alaskan highway around  the U.S-Canada border is also not under control.

    "The fire remains out of control. We have crews that have traveled up to begin suppression efforts. We're also in close contact with the community to ensure that everybody is aware of the situation as it unfolds. At this point in time, what were doing is were tracking the highway as best we can and we're currently performing an assessment to ensure we know exactly when a closure of the Alaskan Highway for a second time might be necessary. Again, the Alaskan Highway remains open at this time."

    An open fire ban has also been put into place within the Dawson, Mayo, Carmacks, Ross River, Whitehorse, Teslin, Haines Junction and Beaver Creek fire management areas. The open fire ban includes all campgrounds in these areas, including campfires outside of campgrounds.

    In total, there are 35 active wildfires burning in the territory right now.

     

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