Wildfires across Canada have already burned nearly 33 million acres — double the acreage of any previous season, an area equivalent to the state of Alabama — and things are not getting better. More than 230 fires are raging in the Northwest Territories alone, displacing hundreds of Indigenous and First Nations peoples and forcing the evacuation of the entire provincial capital of Yellowknife and the neighboring First Nations communities of Ndilo and Dettah. What officials are describing as the biggest airlift in Canadian history is flying in military personnel and flying out evacuees, while escort vehicles are assigned to guide drivers through the intense smoke along the one road to safety leading out of the city.
Though extra refueling stations are being set up along the evacuation route as of Wednesday, no reception centers for evacuees had been established. “It’s all just really terrifying,” said Morgan Tsetta, a member of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation in a TikTok video on Tuesday. Also in Northwest Territories, the hamlet of Enterprise was nearly completely destroyed by fire SS052 on Sunday. “I think there’s seven or eight houses left and three or four businesses,” Enterprise Mayor Michael St Amour told the CBC. “Between 85 and 90 per cent of the community is gone.” Canadian wildfires: Washington Post $, Grist;