WHITEHORSE – Premier Ranj Pillai and Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn issued the following statement on behalf of the Yukon Liberal Caucus:
“This past weekend brought extreme heat and dry conditions to the Yukon. We currently have three large wildfires of note being monitored and managed by Wildland Fire Management and partners: the Takhini Bridge fire (XY-019), Illusion Creek fire (XY-018) and Reverse Creek fire (MA-005).
“A full response is underway for the Takhini Bridge Fire and Illusion Creek Fire. This involves an aggressive attack with the goal of containing and extinguishing the fire as soon as possible.
“Evacuation alerts have been issued for the Ibex Valley area east of Takhini Bridge and for the Silver Trail, from kilometres 10 to 35. An AlertReady text message was issued over the weekend and crews have gone door-to-door to speak with the residents closest to the fire and to set up sprinklers on buildings as required.
“The Emergency Measures Organization (EMO) is updating impacted First Nations and community advisory organizations, and our Community Affairs branch has contacted affected communities and governments to make sure lines of communication are open.
“While the cause of the Takhini Bridge fire has not yet been determined, we want to encourage Yukoners be safe and responsible this summer. A Level 2 fire ban is in place. Please spread the word. Campfires are only allowed in the provided fire pits and stoves at road-accessible territorial and commercial campgrounds. Find more information about this ban at: https://yukon.ca/en/fire-ban-place-due-high-wildfire-activity-and-dry-conditions.
“On behalf of the Yukon Liberal Caucus, we want to say a sincere thank you to members of the Yukon First Nations Wildfire service, Yukon Wildland Fire Management, the Yukon Fire Marshal SHOT (Special Heavy Operations Team) group, Yukon’s Emergency Measures Organization, as well as all other first responders and community members responding to wildfires across the territory. Firefighters have extinguished 32 wildfires this season and 14 are currently active in total.
“All Yukon firefighters deployed to other jurisdictions have returned home to fight fires here in the territory.
“If you see firefighter crews or equipment along the highway, please give them space to do their work safely. Do not stop to take photos.
“Follow Yukon Protective Services on Facebook for the latest up-to-date information on wildfires and 511 Yukon for information on highways and road closures. Staff are in place to answer public inquiries and members of the public can email YukonFireInfo@yukon.ca or call 867-393-7415. You can also visit yukon.ca/wildfires to read the latest wildfire updates and learn more about Yukon’s fire danger ratings.
“Community members impacted by wildfire evacuation alerts along the Silver Trail and in the Ibex Valley area east of Takhini Bridge are encouraged to register with Emergency Support Services (ESS) by phoning 867-332-4597. Registration with ESS allows you to receive assistance when needed.
“These last few days, we are yet again reminded of the importance of being prepared for whatever nature throws our way. Please stock up your 72-hour emergency kit and have it ready to go in an easy-to-access location. Make sure to include copies of important documents, like passports, birth certificates, and insurance records along with the essentials, like a three-day supply of water and non-perishable food for every family member or pet. Pack a flashlight and extra batteries, a first-aid kit, any prescriptions or special medications, credit cards and cash, chargers for your cellphones, and extra clothes.
“For more information about packing your own 72-hour emergency kit, visit https://yukon.ca/en/emergencies-and-safety/emergency-preparedness/make-emergency-kit.
“We know seeing plumes of smoke nearby can be stressful and unnerving. We are urging all Yukoners to keep themselves informed and stay calm. The dedicated and knowledgeable teams at Yukon Wildland Fire Management and emergency response partners are on site, working hard to increase the defensible areas and protect lives and livelihoods. Information officers continue to engage with local stakeholders and the media to keep the public up to date.
“Our government remains committed to ensuring everyone has the information they need to stay safe during times of high wildfire activity.”