Advertisement

N.W.T. Fire says those speeding on Highway 1 are putting firefighters in danger

N.W.T.'s department of Infrastructure says that Highway 1 between kilometre 58 and Enterprise, N.W.T., was closed early on Saturday due to wildfire smoke. It re-opened later that morning, but officials say it could close again suddenly.  (Natalie Pressman/CBC - image credit)
N.W.T.'s department of Infrastructure says that Highway 1 between kilometre 58 and Enterprise, N.W.T., was closed early on Saturday due to wildfire smoke. It re-opened later that morning, but officials say it could close again suddenly. (Natalie Pressman/CBC - image credit)

N.W.T. Fire says it is having "severe problems" with people speeding and ignoring signage in areas where firefighters are working.

"It is causing unsafe conditions. If the negligence continues, we may need to pull firefighters out of the area to protect their safety," writes Mike Westwick, N.W.T. Fire information officer.

"Firefighters are active and working to protect things people care about across [he] Highway 1 area."

He said he knows those returning to Yellowknife are eager to get home, but urged everyone to be patient, cautious and careful.

"Because if you aren't, it may mean firefighting efforts are paused in an active fire area — which no one wants — or firefighters getting hurt or killed."

The notice comes as Highway 1 continues to be disrupted by wildfire smoke.

The N.W.T.'s department of Infrastructure posted on social media on Saturday that Highway 1 from kilometre 58 to Enterprise, N.W.T., was closed in the morning as a result of heavy smoke.

The highway opened about an hour later, but the territorial government said vehicles would be escorted and travellers should expect delays. In a post around noon, the territorial government said the highway is open, but that travellers should expect sudden closures.