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HomeNewsLightning storms spark dozens of wildfires in Yukon, heat warning issued

Lightning storms spark dozens of wildfires in Yukon, heat warning issued

WHITEHORSE – Wildfires are breaking out throughout Yukon as lightning pummels the territory and a warmth wave wears on, a hearth data officer says.

Mike Fancie of Yukon Wildland Hearth Administration says about 20 fires a day have been sparked starting on the lengthy weekend, bringing the whole this yr to 155 wildfires which have burned 45,000 hectares.

You are reading: Lightning storms spark dozens of wildfires in Yukon, heat warning issued

Fancie described the proportion of fires brought on by lightning as “stupendously excessive” at 97 per cent, in contrast with about 70 per cent in a typical yr with the rest being brought on by people.

On Monday alone, there have been greater than 3,000 lightning strikes, 484 of which have been constructive strikes that carry with them elevated fireplace hazard, he mentioned.

“The sheer quantity of lightning exercise and new fires over the previous few days have completely obliterated that statistic,” he mentioned.

“Yukon is dealing with unprecedented ranges of lightning-caused wildfire exercise proper now.”

The fires come as Atmosphere Canada issued a warmth warning for a lot of the territory, whereas each fires and flooding have prompted evacuation alerts in a number of areas. A number of freeway closures are additionally impacting transportation and entry to communities.

Yukon Emergency Measures Group issued a brand new evacuation alert for the Silver Path and surrounding areas Tuesday. The Ethel Lake campground was evacuated Saturday.

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Of explicit concern is the Crystal Lake fireplace in central Yukon, which has grown to 2,500 hectares and prompted an evacuation alert Sunday for Stewart Crossing about 15 kilometres away. The fireplace additionally compelled the closure of a part of the Klondike Freeway, an vital transportation hyperlink between Whitehorse, Dawson and Mayo.

In the meantime, flood warnings have been in impact since final week for areas round Teslin Lake and Yukon River close to Carmacks.

Most of the challenges are brought on by a so-called Rex block climate system, which happens when a high-pressure system sits above a low-pressure system and brings remoted thunderstorms, Fancie mentioned.

“Why these are unhealthy for us is that they’re very steady climate patterns. So when the high-pressure ridge sits over us like this, it invariably signifies that we are able to count on this climate situation for an prolonged time frame and that’s what’s occurring,” he mentioned.

Forecasters are predicting lowering temperatures Friday and Saturday, however it’s too early to depend on that, he mentioned.

Yukon has already referred to as in further help by way of mutual assist agreements from British Columbia.

There have been 104 lively fires Tuesday, in contrast with 36 on the identical date final yr. The overall space burned by Tuesday morning was 42,979 hectares in contrast with 27,492 in 2021, he mentioned.

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Atmosphere Canada additionally issued a warmth warning Tuesday for a lot of the territory, urging residents to drink numerous water and hunt down cool locations.

Temperatures have been anticipated to achieve 28 C with nighttime lows of 13 C. The warning utilized to Whitehorse, Previous Crow, Dawson and different areas all through the central, southern and western areas of the territory.

It comes after every day temperature data have been set Monday in Haines Junction, Carmacks and Teslin, with warmth hovering round 30 C.

— By Amy Good in Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first printed July 5, 2022.

Notice to readers: It is a corrected story. A earlier model mentioned a wildfire had been named after Crystal Creek.

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