CORRECTION (JULY 13, 09:48AM): A PREVIOUS VERSION OF THIS BULLETIN STATED THE FIRE HAD TAKEN A 15KM RUN WHEN ANOTHER CABIN WAS BURNED. IT WAS IN FACT A 5KM RUN. WE REGRET THE ERROR.
(YELLOWKNIFE, JULY 12, 2022, 13:30pm) — With the fire south of Wrigley holding at just under 22,000 Ha, we have had the opportunity to assess and investigate the area more thoroughly.
We have discovered that two cabins were lost in the fire area south of Wrigley despite tireless efforts by teams on-the-ground to protect structures in the area.
One is a cultural cabin owned by the Pedzeh Ki First Nation believed to have burned more than one week ago.
Another is believed to have been burned over the weekend when the fire took a 5km run during extreme fire weather.
Community leadership and the cabin owner have been informed.
Heavy smoke and ash in the area has at times challenged our ability to assess all values in the area, which is why we did not verify these losses until today.
We never want to see folks lose things in fires. We understand that these values are often important for social, cultural, and community wellness.
That’s why our wildfire team works tirelessly to do whatever is possible to protect structures, while ensuring safety of responders and protection of communities season after season.
The unfortunate reality is that these kinds of losses happen. In the NWT, we’re in a landscape shaped by fire with things we value dotting that landscape. Sometimes, we’re just not going to be able to make it in time.
We can state with absolute certainty that none of these losses were due to the ignition operations which have helped build a strong line of defence for the community of Wrigley. They were not occurring in the areas these cabins were found.
We will be exploring eligibility for trappers and harvesters compensation assistance from the department with the owners of these cabins to support continued traditional activities in the area.
Our team is continuing to work hard every day to bring this fire under control and continue to ensure the community of Wrigley has no cause for concern.
In the NWT, we can all make a difference and reduce our risk of wildfire damage – even if wildfire comes. FireSmart principles offer a proven way to do that – and there are simple, inexpensive steps anyone can take to make homes, cabins, camps, and businesses more resilient to wildfire.
Useful FireSmart resources:
- Online FireSmart guide
- Last Minute Wildfire Checklist video
- Last Minute Wildfire Printable Checklist
- FireSmart home assessment
Wildfire Information Officer
Environment and Natural Resources