On Tuesday, the Canadian Armed Forces planned to deploy in the Northwest Territories to help battle the wildfires.
Fire threatened villages, including the territory capital, and hundreds of people were flown to safety. 100 troops were to assist with firefighting activities, including dousing hot spots and clearing areas, while the other 24 were to coordinate logistics and fly the helicopter and Twin Otter aircraft.
So far this year, fires have scorched almost 8,108 square kilometers.
This year has been the worst on record for wildfires in Canada.
Yellowknife, the territory capital, has declared a local state of emergency due to a looming wildfire danger as of Monday night.
According to a statement on X, such proclamations are issued when it’s decided that more authority is required to respond swiftly. These include seizing control of automobiles or other assets to react to an emergency and allowing trained individuals to assist.
Over 230 fires were burning throughout the area on Tuesday, forcing the evacuation of five settlements. Hundreds of northerners were being flown from at least three settlements in the face of wind-whipped flames.
When Jane Groenewegen and her companion were leaving the little community of Enterprise, located south of Hay River, on a Sunday night, the door was suddenly pounded on by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP told them they must go immediately. She estimated that within the next half an hour to an hour, the whole town of Enterprise would be destroyed by fire.
On Monday, Mike Westwick, the fire information officer for the Northwest Territories, stated, “Over the last 24 hours or so, there has been an airlift like this region has never seen.” Aircraft take off from Hay River, Fort Smith, and Jean Marie River. There is a security breach on the roads. He then stressed the gravity of the issue.
Between Hay River and Enterprise, the RCMP found at least 12 wrecked or abandoned cars.
Cpl. Matt Halstead said in a statement that “reports of poor vision owing to thick smoke on the route” likely led to the car crashes and vehicles getting stranded after leaving the lane.