Yukon issues territory-wide fire ban, ahead of long weekend

·1 min read
As of Friday afternoon, fires are only allowed in designated fire pits at road-accessible Yukon government and commercial campgrounds, until further notice. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)
As of Friday afternoon, fires are only allowed in designated fire pits at road-accessible Yukon government and commercial campgrounds, until further notice. (Paul Tukker/CBC - image credit)

Yukon has issued a territory-wide fire ban just ahead of the holiday weekend, saying hot weather, recent lightning, and already-busy fire crews have increased the risk.

The order, which came into effect at noon on Friday, is considered a "middle level" fire ban and will stay in place until further notice. That means cooking and warming fires are only permitted in provided fire pits at road-accessible government and commercial campgrounds. No other open fires are allowed anywhere.

"There is extreme fire danger caused by hot and dry weather and recent lightning activity," reads a Friday news release from wildland fire officials.

"What's more, fire crews are faced with significant fire response operations that could be compromised by preventable human-caused wildfires."

Officials are also advising people to be responsible with permissible fires, by not building them in windy conditions, keeping them small, paying attention to them and ensuring they're fully extinguished before leaving them.

As of noon Friday, there were 38 active wildfires in the territory with 12 of those newly reported over the previous 24 hours. Officials say many of the new fires are lightning-caused, and are in the Ross River, Faro and Carmacks areas.

Two fires in the Ross River area have disrupted highway travel, with the Robert Campbell Highway and the North Canol Road closed to daytime travel. They'll reopen from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., though people are advised to check 511Yukon for updates.

Paul Tukker/CBC
Paul Tukker/CBC
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting