Wildfire Bulletin #38
July 29, 2009 - 10:15 AM
Human-Caused Fire in Mayo Reason for Concern
A spot fire in the Mayo Community was reported at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday night. The fire burned at the end of Cemetery Road in the Na-Cho Nyak Dun subdivision. Due to the fires close proximity to structures, a three-person Initial Attack crew was immediately dispatched to the site and extinguished it. The fire is believed to have been human-caused and is currently under investigation.
“Conditions are so hot and dry that fires can easily become dangerous,” said Duty Officer Mike Sparks. “The obvious concern here is that we had a human-caused fire shortly after we declared a fire ban.”
The fire ban was implemented Tuesday afternoon for the entire territory. The ban applies to all open burning, including campfires. Burning in landfills and the use of fireworks also fall under the ban. Wildland Fire Management and Parks officials will be enforcing the ban in campgrounds and other areas. Individuals not adhering to this ban may be subject to prosecution under the Forest protection Act and, if a wildfire results, may also be liable for suppression costs.
Meanwhile, extreme fire conditions across the territory have led to growth on existing fires. The Iron Creek Fire, burning 115 kilometres south of Dawson City, was mapped at 22,500 hectares in size. The fire approached the Biderman camp, and residents activated the sprinkler system installed by Wildland Fire Management personnel. The 50 Mile Creek Fire, 70 kilometres west of Dawson, also made progress and moved to within 3.7 kilometres of a mining tent camp in the area.
In the Carmacks District, the Little Salmon Lake fire, 65 kilometres east of Carmacks, has caused heavy smoke in its vicinity due to calm winds. Crews are making good progress on the north and west perimeter of the fire. Motorists traveling along the Robert Campbell Highway may encounter poor visibility, delays and road closure pending the behavior of the fire. The Buffalo Corrals fire, 50 kilometres southwest of Carmacks, was remapped to 5,380 hectares in size. Structural protection is in place on values in the area and was activated on Tuesday. An Initial Attack crew will monitor values daily.
A large column of smoke was also visible Tuesday from Whitehorse as a result of increased fire behavior on the Teslin River fire. The 4,030-hectare fire burns 60 kilometres northeast of Whitehorse and burns on both sides of the river.
Fire officials are advising paddlers to avoid the Teslin River if possible due to the increased fire behavior. Two large columns are now burning on the east and west side of the river and a large amount of smoke is present in the area as a result.
The Carmacks, Dawson, Haines Junction, Mayo, Ross River and Whitehorse districts are all at the extreme danger rating with Teslin and Watson Lake rated high. Temperatures are forecast to be in the low thirties for the week in much of the Yukon, with the Carmacks district forecast to reach a high of 34 degrees.
The public is advised that smoky conditions can be expected in much of the territory this week as the fire activity increases. In total, there are currently 30 active fires in the territory. The majority of these fires are burning in the wilderness zone and fire officials continue to monitor these fires closely. This season there have been 67 fires in the Yukon burning 100,208 hectares of forest.
For Yukon Wildfire updates, call 1-800-826-4750