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Wildfires and washouts: several roads in The Yukon closed

A wildfire located near the edge of the Yukon River between Minto Landing and Carmacks being air bombed with flame retardant. Photo by Yukon Protective Services

The territory is seeing several roads shut down due to wildfires and one highway closed due to a washout, but officials are warning residents to avoid panic-buying goods and supplies.

Several wildfires have forced the closure of several roads throughout the territory and the Alaska highway re-opened with limited capacity due to a washout south of Watson Lake, the Yukon Energy Food Security Network is urging Yukoners to avoid panicking as supply lines are crunched.

Several grocery and supply stores throughout the territory are now limiting purchases for customers as a way to prevent panic-buying, and Chris Pinkerton with the YEFSN says you can do your part by remaining calm.

A statement from the Yukon Energy Food Security Network says Yukoners should remember that fires and road washouts can have a very real effect on our community, but right now the important thing to remember is that there is plenty of food to go around.

That statement says several supply trucks have been diverted and will be back in communities and at the stores within the week.

The network closes the statement with "The best thing we can do is purchase what we need, and wait for the trucks to get to the stores so things can stabilize once more."

Roadside detours are now available for those leaving from Watson Lake. Read here!

Here's a look at the notable fires as listed by Yukon Wildland Fire Management:

In Mayo,

The Crystal Lake fire,  at a size of 1,500 hectares, is out of control with a full response from crews. As a result, the North Klondike Highway is closed between Stewart Crossing and Pelly Crossing. Stewart Crossing is under an evacuation alert. The fire is 15 kilometres from Stewart Crossing. 

In Beaver Creek,

The Snag Creek Fire, at a size of 900 hectares, is out of control and a transitional response zone has been established by crews. The fire is located 10 km northeast of Beaver Creek. Currently, there are 4 firefighters and 1 officer assigned to fight this fire.

In Ross River,

The Finlayson Lake fire, at a size of 1,000 hectares and out of control, crews have enacted a strategic response zone to fight the fire. As a result of the fire, the Robert Campbell Highway is closed between Ross River and Watson Lake. Structure protection is in place at values in the area.

In Watson Lake,

The Frances Lake fire is 1,500 hectares and is out of control, with a strategic response zone established to fight the fire. This fire can be seen burning along the Robert Campbell Highway between kilometres 162 and 170. The Ethel Lake campground is closed and has been evacuated, as the fire began creeping closer to the area and presented a danger to occupants. The Robert Campbell Highway is closed between Watson Lake and Ross River. Currently, 7 firefighters and 1 helicopter are assigned to this fire.

Finally, the Rancheria Mountain fire is 196 hectares and is out of control, with crews staging a strategic response zone around the fire. The blaze is located about 3 kilometres from kilometre 1072 of the Alaska Highway and Smoke may be visible from the highway.

Keep up to date on wildfires around the territory HERE.

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