The wildfire agency in the NWT has stated that an explosives cache located between Yellowknife and an oncoming wildfire is not considered a major concern. No specific details were provided regarding the contents of the cache during a Saturday news conference. However, a map issued by NWT Fire showing the fire’s progress outside the city labeled the location of the cache.
After the press conference, NWT Fire acknowledged in a phone call with Cabin Radio that the distribution of the map showing the cache’s location had been done in error. The wildfire agency stated that the location of the cache belongs to a company whose name was not mentioned. They have requested the removal of the map from this report for public safety reasons. Cabin Radio has complied with the request while further investigation is conducted.
The original map indicated that the cache, located to the west of the city, was related to explosives used in quarrying and blasting. A spokesperson mentioned that such facilities are common near communities. While the facility is considered secure, the inadvertent revelation of its existence could pose a security risk.
NWT Fire confirmed that fire crews are aware of the facility and have accounted for it in their planning. Currently, the fire, designated as ZF015, is approximately 15 kilometers west of the city. However, officials have stated that there are challenging conditions ahead that could push the fire eastwards.
During the press conference, territorial wildfire information officer Mike Westwick emphasized the seriousness of the situation, stating that they still have a lot to handle as the fire has not yet reached its peak. He highlighted the efforts of the team in attacking the fires from the air to slow their growth.
When questioned about the explosives cache, Westwick described it as a “known area” with explosives that they need to consider, but it is not of elevated concern. However, he did not provide further information on the nature of the explosives or specify the company involved.