Brave Firefighters Curb Flames Near Hospital; Yellowknife Residents May Return Soon


As the town of Yellowknife anticipates the return of its residents, firefighters tirelessly combat fire fronts, striving to contain the encroaching wildfires. The flames neared dangerously close to Hay River’s hospital, presenting an arduous challenge to the vigilant crews.

In a conversation with the media, fire information officer Mike Westwick highlighted the tireless efforts of the firefighters. Amid stout winds and substantial fire activity, a formidable defence was enforced on the previous day. “The fire closed in on about half a kilometre to the Hay River hospital, however, our dedicated team managed to tame the wildfire, ensuring the safety of the area. The day was arduous but successful nonetheless,” he stated.

The fire management plan leaned heavily on aerial support to rein in the advancing fire. Multiple helicopters and airtankers were employed to blanket the raging flames with water.

The date for the return of residents in the areas of Hay River and Fort Smith remains uncertain. However, Yellowknife residents may commence their homecoming as early as September 6, according to an official announcement made on Saturday.

Westwick explained that the wildfires closest to Yellowknife are being effectively contained and that steady progress has been the order of the day. “Our team has made headway, suppressing flare-ups, manoeuvring around the fire perimeter closest to Yellowknife, and cleaning up the aftermath,” he noted.

Approximately 300 firefighters remain active in the region, quelling the wildfires, and Westwick reinforced that efforts are ongoing to maintain control over the situation. The logistics for the return have been organised by the Emergency Measures Office, arranging flights and transportation from airports with the caveat that services may be sparse initially.

Westwick urged the returning residents to be mindful of the ongoing work, “You’ll observe crews and equipment at work along the routes. We insist that you proceed with caution during your return, especially on Highway 3 where active work might be underway.”

Residents are advised to brace for the homebound journey by ensuring they have enough supplies, medications, and cash to suffice for at least 72 hours post-return. A registration process via the public safety web page allows plane-bound returnees to secure their flights and provide officials the necessary data to plan the required number of flights.

Authorities have issued advisories against attempting to drive to the border before September 6 owing to the lack of resources for early arrivals.

On a promising note, Westwick mentioned a notable shift in the weather – a drop in temperature after consecutive days of high 20s and early 30s. Despite welcomed rainfall in Hay River, he emphasised an alert issued by the meteorologist pointing towards the need for continued vigilance in the days to come, “This late fire season has been extraordinary in terms of activity level here in the Northwest Territories. Our brave firefighters will be relentlessly at work for a considerable time yet,” Westwick concluded.

Previous articleEdmonton Chokes on Wildfire Smoke, Yet Brave Vendors Keep Markets Alive
Next articlePride Flag Thefts and Shuttered Brewery Highlight Ontario Community Tensions
Melinda Cochrane is a poet, teacher and fiction author. She is also the editor and publisher of The Inspired Heart, a collection of international writers. Melinda also runs a publishing company, Melinda Cochrane International books for aspiring writers, based out Montreal, Quebec. Her publication credits include: The art of poetic inquiry, (Backalong Books), a novella, Desperate Freedom, (Brian Wrixon Books Canada), and 2 collections of poetry; The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat, (Backalong Books), and She’s an Island Poet, Desperate Freedom was on the bestseller's list for one week, and The Man Who Stole Father’s Boat is one of hope and encouragement for all those living in the social welfare system. She’s been published in online magazines such as, (regular writer for) ‘Life as a Human’, and Shannon Grissom’s magazine.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here