Wildfire evacuees from Hay River, NWT, will have to wait a little longer to find out when they can return home.
The city council decided Monday that it was still too early to set a date for the city’s re-entry, as fire conditions in the area remain “volatile” and the community remains at risk.
On Friday, the city released its reentry plan but did not commit to any date. Officials said they wanted to see what happened over the weekend before meeting Monday to decide what to do.
A notice posted online by the city Monday night said the first phase of the reentry plan, which would allow essential workers to return to Hay River, “will not be implemented at this time.”
“Fire conditions in a hot, dry and windy climate are volatile and have contributed to fire growth in a finger east of the [Kátł’odeeche First Nation] area,” the notice reads.
“Containment of this portion of the fire has not yet been completed and remains an elevated risk to the community.”
The Kátł’odeeche First Nation (KFN) also released its reentry plan on Friday, but has not yet committed to any date.
Meanwhile, pre-registration for evacuee repatriation flights from Hay River, KFN and Fort Smith will open Tuesday morning when the evacuation order is lifted. Officials said at a territorial briefing on Monday that pre-registration allows them to begin calculating logistics and determining what type of aircraft, or how many, might be needed.
The city of Fort Smith has said the general public will be able to return there on September 18, if conditions remain as expected.