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Public Safety Update: Reid Lake Fire, Highway 3

YELLOWKNIFE (August 13, 2015) – Fire ZF-014, near Reid Lake, is still a threat. The GNWT is working to suppress the fire and ensure the safety of the public. The following are updates from the various government agencies involved in the response to this wildfire.

The next Public Safety Update will be issued on Monday, August 17, 2015, unless the situation at the Reid Lake fire advances significantly before then.

Environment and Natural Resources (ENR)

ENR continues to fight the Reid Lake fire. Fire behaviour remains extreme due to hot, dry conditions. Value at risk protection efforts continue in the affected area around Reid, Peninsula, Tibbitt, and Defeat Lakes. Fire operations in the area are not yet complete and while work is ongoing safety of crews and the public continues to be the first priority.

For the latest updates on NWT fire conditions visit the ENR website www.enr.gov.nt.ca and the NWT Fire Facebook page.

Transportation (DOT)

DOT has closed Highway 4 at the Cameron River bridge to all traffic. This road closure will continue through the weekend and until further notice, based on firefighting activities in the area. No traffic will be permitted past the closure, which is essential for fire crews to continue their work without interruption.

For the latest updates on highway conditions, visit www.dot.gov.nt.ca, call 1-800-661-0750, or follow @GNWT_DOT on Twitter.

Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI)

The Reid Lake Territorial Park Campground and Cameron River Territorial Park remain closed. Updates about the closures will be issued through regular Public Safety Updates at www.gov.nt.ca, and on the ITI website at www.iti.gov.nt.ca.

At this time both parks will be closed until further notice.

Campers who wish to cancel a booking can do so without penalty by contacting 445-1717 for the period of August 5-24. For Extended Stay Campsite holders a refund will be provided at a pro-rated daily rate once the park re-opens. For more information visit www.iti.gov.nt.ca.

Health and Social Services (HSS)

HSS is advising residents with concerns about smoke to see the Health Effects of Smoke Exposure due to Forest Fire information sheet.

For more information visit www.hss.gov.nt.ca.

Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA)

MACA, through the Emergency Measures Office, will continue to provide updates on the fire, related closure, and ongoing activities. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.

We understand cabin owners and recreational users are both concerned for their properties and wish to access the area for recreation. We thank the public for their continued patience as fire operations are ongoing. We would like to continue to remind the public that this closure is for the safety of cabin owners, recreational users, and fire crews alike. Many of the fire operations require the road for staging and until these actions are complete it is not safe for the public to be in the area.

We ask that the public respect the road closure and, in turn, the safety measures put in place to protect firefighters and the public.

MACA continues to coordinate GNWT resources and notify the public about the current fire situation.

Further Information

New Public Safety Updates will be provided as information becomes available. Updates will be distributed to local media and posted online at www.gov.nt.ca.

Media Inquiries by Topic

Fire conditions and fire suppression: Judy McLinton at 867-445-2297.

Health concerns about smoke conditions: Damien Healy at 867-767-9052 ext. 49034

Highway conditions and status: Nick Hurst at 867-445-1368

Territorial park/campground closures: Briony Wright 867-920-6109

GNWT emergency response: David Maguire at 867-920-3092