‘Aggressive’ fire shuts down section of Dempster Highway – North

The Dempster Highway has been closed at kilometre 284 due to a large wildfire burning along the east side of the highway. 

That’s about 85 kilometres south of Eagle Plains.

As of Monday night, it was approximately 600 hectares in size and expected to grow larger, according to a news release from Yukon Wildland Fire Management.

The fire was discovered on Monday afternoon. It was caused by lightning.

“The highway has been closed by Highway and Public Works staff as a safety measure due to the location of the fire and its aggressive behaviour,” duty officer Kris Johnson said in the news release.

One fire crew, a fire truck and a helicopter are assigned to the fire.

“They are assessing suppression tactics and identifying any values in the area at potential risk,” the statement said.

So far they’ve only found one unoccupied cabin, and they’re working to protect it.

Fire officials say drivers should visit 511yukon.ca for the latest road conditions.

1 of 4 new fires

The fire along the Dempster Highway is one of four new fires that started on Monday. Lightning also started three fires in the Northern Tutchone region. 

The largest is an 800-hectare fire burning near Pleasant Creek, 116 kilometres east of Mayo. All these fires are in wilderness zones and are expected to “grow significantly.” Wildland Fire Management says there are no values at risk.

A fire burning 75 kilometres southwest of Dawson City has also grown, to an estimated 8,500 hectares.

“Due to the size and location of the fire smoky conditions can be expected in Dawson City and the surrounding areas.”

Yukon Wildland Fire Managment says cooler temperatures and favourable winds are forecast for Tuesday, which they think could reduce that fire.

A road conditions map as of Tuesday morning. The closure of the Dempster Highway is noted in red, south of Eagle Plains. (Yukon Highways and Public Works)

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