Despite having no power and limited access to fuel, a gas station in Enterprise, N.W.T. is operating to ensure all returning Hay River evacuees can fuel up on their drive.
"[Enterprise] is virtually destroyed, so we figured that one piece of normal would maybe bring hope to people. And that's all we're here for is just to bring hope to people," said Gateway Gas and Convenience employee John Leskiw on Saturday.
"It's not dead. We can restore, we can rebuild. That's all we're looking for."
Leskiw said they decided to open the gas station because of the distance between Meander River, Alta. and Fort Providence.
Gateway Gas in Enterprise says it has enough gas to serve South Slave residents until Fort Smith re-entry. (Travis Burke)
He said many Hay River residents are choosing to drive straight home instead and fill up at gas stations that have reopened there. But ultimately, reopening the gas station was about more than making sure people can have fuel if they need it.
He said that so far, the people stopping at the gas station have been mostly essential workers from Fort Smith, and people returning to Yellowknife.
The gas station is being powered entirely through generators, while they wait to get back on the grid. There's also been challenges with access to fuel due to the fires and road closures, but Leskiw says that they should have enough gas to last until the reopening of Fort Smith.
According to its Facebook account, the gas station reopened on Sept. 9.