Hundreds of wildfires are raging in parts of Canada’s Northwest Territories, threatening the capital city of Yellowknife, prompting authorities to issue evacuation orders and declare a state of emergency.
According to Urban and Community Affairs Minister Shane Thompson, the state of emergency allows more resources to help the more than 230 active bushfires across the Northwest Territories.
“We are in a critical situation and our government is using every tool to help,” Thompson said in a news release.
The mayor of Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, declared a local state of emergency, followed by evacuation orders for some areas as the fire approached.
The towns of Ndilo, Dettah and Ingram Trail are also under evacuation orders, North West Regional officials said in a news release on Wednesday. Those unable to leave the areas by road can register for evacuation flights starting Thursday, officials added.
Residents living in Teta, Kam Lake, Grays Lake and Ingraham Road in the Angle Business District are currently at high risk and should evacuate as soon as possible. Other residents have until noon on Friday, August 18, 2023 to vacate,” officials said in a press release.
The new evacuation orders come on the heels of a weekend evacuation order for much of the southern Slave region — including the town of Hay River. Roads are closed from the Hay River to the Alberta border and west to Yellowknife, city officials said in a Facebook post.
“The situation changed quickly. Strong winds blew the fire 10 km (6 miles) away from the community. The fire is expected to reach the Hay River this evening,” the North West Regional Fire Department said in an update. Facebook update Wednesday evening. “Crews in the path of the fire are pulling out for their own safety and redeploying to assist in other areas.”
According to Canadian government agency Northwest Territories Fire, a team from Alberta has been sent to the Hay River area to lay down fire retardant to prevent the fire from spreading.
“Sprinklers and structural protections are in place and activated, and other operations will continue as conditions permit,” the company added.
Meanwhile, the outcasts from South Slavey advised at the outset to a reception center in Grande Prairie, but the government of the Northwest Territories moved them to a new center in St. Albert, Alberta.
As of Wednesday evening, the total 236 The fire burns fiercely across the Northwest Territories, officials said.
That led to an air quality alert from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Thursday and Friday.
“Heavy ground-level smoke from wildfires in Canada’s Northwest Territories is moving south across central Canada and into Minnesota on Wednesday,” the National Weather Service warned. “A strong cold Thursday will bring this smoke across the entire state.”
Smoke could reach the Minnesota-Canadian border by midnight Thursday, then move into the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota by 3 p.m. Thursday, the weather service said.
Air quality in eastern Minnesota is likely to reach the purple or very unhealthy category for several hours, the weather service said.
Sensitive groups such as people with lung or heart disease, the elderly and children are asked to avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
“Smog will persist across the eastern half of the state on Friday, and fine particulate matter levels will remain high for most of the day,” the weather service said. “Winds will turn southerly by Friday afternoon and smoke will begin to retreat from the state and disperse. Air quality will improve below warning levels by the end of the day on Friday.
In Canada, National Security Minister Bill Blair mobilized the Canadian Armed Forces on Tuesday to provide firefighting personnel, aerial resources and logistical support to the Northwest Territories.
“We stand with the people of the Northwest Territories as they experience their worst fire season, and I trust our military personnel will do what they can to help their fellow Canadians,” Blair said in a statement. Report.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he has been in contact with Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane.
“To the people of the Northwest Territories: We are here for you. We have mobilized members of the Canadian Armed Forces and will continue to provide the necessary resources. I spoke with Prime Minister Caroline Cochrane about that today — and reaffirmed our commitment to help where we can,” Trudeau said. Social media Mail.
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