Fires rage on
Rain doesn't have much impact on fires
You can view satellite images of forest fires in the NWT by accessing the Operational Significant Event Imagery web site.

Doug Ashbury and Tracy Kovalench
Northern News Services

NNSL (Jul 27/98) - An estimated 135 people from several communities in the western Northwest Territories are part of the Tibbitt Lake firefighting effort, says Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development spokesperson, Beatrice Lepine.

Lepine works out of RWED's Hay River forest management offices. She is one of several support staff.

Communities from across the territories have joined forces to bring fire ZF29 under control. The fire, located 45 kilometers east of Yellowknife, has joined with another fire originating in the Gordon Lake area via a thin, one kilometer band.

Together, the fires have burned about 145,000 hectres of land.

Crews have been brought in from Fort Simpson, Rae, Tulita, Inuvik, and Yellowknife. Support staff have also arrived from Fort Smith, Norman Wells and Hay River.

This weekend's periodic cloud bursts over the Ingraham Trail have provided little relief for firefighters. Rain has helped to slow surface flames, but it's not enough to reach the burning embers beneath, says Rick Lanoville, a fire behavior specialist.

"Forest management expects to work on the fire for the rest of the summer," says Judy Langford, GNWT press secretary.

The Reid Lake campground was evacuated last week and new campers have not been allowed into Prelude Lake Park since Friday.

Three cabins in Tibbitt Lake have been destroyed by the fire so far. The fate of Sandy Point Lodge on Gordon Lake remains uncertain.

A trapper's cabin north of Fort Smith has been destroyed by one of two fires burning near the Talston Hydro Dam. The dam is not in immediate danger, according to Sunday's fire report, and crews are working to suppress the flames.

A Sunday report indicates 314 fires have burned 456,600 hectares of NWT forest so far this year.