YELLOWKNIFE – Defence Minister Bill Blair says another company of soldiers is being deployed to Hay River in the Northwest Territories, which has been evacuated for more than a week due to a threatening wildfire nearby.
Blair announced the deployment to the town located on the south shore of Great Slave Lake in a tweet yesterday afternoon, saying it will bring the number of soldiers who are helping the territory around Hay River and Yellowknife to around 400.
N.W.T officials say a fire that’s forced the evacuation of Yellowknife didn’t grow much yesterday and still remains about 15 kilometres away from the capital, but the fight is expected to become more difficult as temperatures rise this week.
Fire information officer Mike Westwick says it has been challenging for crews to suppress fires with winds shifting regularly, which means they have to change their attack strategy.
Premier Caroline Cochrane says she has spoken with several federal ministers, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, about how the territory needs financial assistance to deal with the fires and help evacuees.
Planning is already underway in case the upcoming school year is disrupted, Cochrane adds, noting the response could be online learning, which was done during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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