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Fire near town nearly contained: ENR
Heavy rain helped crews damp down 51,000 hectare forest fire

Laura Busch
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, July 12, 2012

Heavy rain that has fallen in and around Inuvik recently has put a damper on a forest fire burning out of control about 12 km northeast of the community, officials at the territorial Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) say.

"Your weather has really taken a turn," Judy McLinton said Monday. "That really gave (crews) the opportunity to get in there and work the perimeter. That rain last week made the difference."

Heavy rain storms Friday and especially Sunday night dropped about 35 mm of rain on the fire, said McLinton. This precipitation along with a drop in temperatures also brought the fire danger down to low in the Inuvik region.

However, as of press time the fire was still classified as out of control. This is expected to change once crews have finished working the perimeter of the fire, digging ditches and laying water hoses.

"It's quite a bit of work," said McLinton. "It was pretty big. It's a 40 km perimeter."

In total, the fire has damaged 5,100 hectares of forest but has not damaged any infrastructure or buildings, said McLinton.

As of Monday, the 2012 fire season in the Northwest Territories had seen a total of 126 forest fires reported to ENR from across the territory. Of those, 39 are out, said McLinton.

The Inuvik region which encompasses most of the Beaufort Delta has had a total of 35 fires. Of those fires, six are out, 27 are being monitored as they burn and two remain out of control.

"That will probably change over the next couple of days with this rain," said McLinton on Monday.

Forest fire season in the NWT begins on May 1 and runs through the end of September. So far, the 2012 season has been on par with previous years, said McLinton.

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