ontario news watch

Residents of Hay River, N.W.T, won’t know when they can return until after weekend

HAY RIVER, N.W.T. — It will likely be next week before wildfire evacuees from Hay River, N.W.T., learn when they can return home.

While re-entry for the territorial capital of Yellowknife began Wednesday, thousands of people from Hay River and Fort Smith haven’t been allowed back.

Hay River council is to review a re-entry plan today, but the date for a return is to be determined after the weekend, which is forecast to be dry and hot. 

An update from the town says drone flights have been providing information about hot spot locations and crews are working to make sure they are out.

Fire has reached many populated areas in Hay River and was recently about 500 metres away from the hospital. 

An evacuation order was issued Aug. 13 for the town of 3,500 people south of Great Slave Lake.

Yellowknife’s 20,000 residents were ordered out three days later. Fire came close but did not enter the city.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press