July 18, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 29

B.C. crews fighting blazes across Yukon

(CBC) The British Columbia provincial government has sent firefighters to help with fires in Yukon that have scorched more than 1,300 square kilometres this summer – and have sent smoke as far west as the Panhandle of Southeast Alaska.

One of the most dangerous areas is near the village of Carmacks where, according to Yukon Wildland Fire Management, 15 fires have burned through more than 110 square kilometres.

The danger rating is listed as extreme, the highest rating, which means the fires are spreading extremely fast for extended periods.

B.C.’s Forests Ministry said in a statement that crews from the Northwest, Cariboo and Prince George fire centres – which are not needed in B.C. at this time – departed for Carmacks on Saturday. Carmacks is 177 kilometres north of Whitehorse. The request for assistance was made through the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, which co-ordinates the sharing of firefighting resources between Canadian jurisdictions.

One fire has closed the Robert Campbell highway and travelers are requested to check the Yukon road report for updates.

Another fire burning along both sides of the Little Salmon River has prompted an advisory for boaters asking them to avoid the area.

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