N.W.T. declares state of emergency, Ottawa ups wildfire assistance
August 16, 2023
By Avert staff
In the wake of the N.W.T.’s territorial state of emergency declaration yesterday, the federal government announced new personnel, funding and procurement supports in response to unprecedented wildfire activity.
Yesterday, 124 troops from the Canadian Armed Forces deployed, as well as a helicopter and twin otter.
Additional supports include response and recovery funding from Indigenous Services Canada’s Emergency Management Assistance Program for eligible First Nations in the territory.
The Canadian Coast Guard has offered two Incident Command System-trained personnel, as well as portable equipment, including water pumps, a mobile incident command post trailer, trucks, and associated operators.
Public Services and Procurement Canada is offering the N.W.T. advice on the procurement of commercial options to bolster response.
Yesterday, the N.W.T. fully activated its Territorial Emergency Management Organization (Level III), with the South Slave Regional Emergency Management Organization also fully activated. An Incident Management Team activated within the TEMO, with support from Joint Task Force North.
Four communities in the South Slave Region are under evacuation orders: Enterprise, Fort Smith, Hay River and K’atl’odeeche First Nation. Jean Marie River in the Dehcho Region is also evacuated, as well as areas of North Slave Region, including North Prosperous Lake, North Prelude Lake and River Lake.
In a news release yesterday, Public Safety Canada said the Government Operations Centre is working closely with federal and territorial partners to co-ordinate the federal response.
“We are working closely with the Government of the Northwest Territories to ensure communities have the support they need,” Harjit Sajjan, Minister of Emergency Preparedness, said. “The Government of Canada is mobilizing all necessary federal resources to help manage this unprecedented situation, and I would like to thank all of the firefighters, first responders, Canadian Armed Forces personnel, emergency management officials, and local volunteers for their dedication and hard work.”
As of Monday there were 236 active fires in territory with more than two million hectares burned.
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