The City of Yellowknife has declared a State of Local Emergency, under the NWT Emergency Management Act for our community at this time as a way to ensure it can exercise precautionary practices and acquire the equipment and resources needed to keep Yellowknife safe from the surrounding wildfires.

A State of Local Emergency is called when a community government determines additional powers are needed to take immediate action in an emergency. This includes taking over the use of vehicles or property to respond to the emergency, causing an evacuation for all or a portion of the community, authorizing qualified individuals to provide services or aid in emergency responses.  

Please note, the City is NOT declaring an evacuation alert, notice or order by declaring this.

“Residents should remain calm and ensure they are prepared in the event that the situation changes,” said Mayor Rebecca Alty. “Information will be communicated as it becomes available from trusted sources, do your part by being prepared and fire conscious.”

The City continues to collaborate with multiple levels of government to manage risk and collaborate on what different responses could look like. Please be assured that the City and these partners are working hard to ensure the safety of our community.

An update on work underway:

The territorial and City governments have been working hand-in-hand to prepare proactive protections for the community due to these wildfires.

With advice from NWT Fire, the City of Yellowknife is moving forward with several important steps:

  1. Firebreaks west of the sandpits area, and around the Engle Business District;
  2. Work to remove vegetation along Deh Cho Boulevard to increase wildfire protection;
  3. Sprinkler setup around Grace Lake and Kam Lake areas.

Thanks to residents for staying clear of these areas while work is underway.

The City knows that residents are concerned with the situation in the area and in the rest of the territory. Residents will be notified of any updated levels of risk via the emergency alert functions on cell phones.

The City has been assured that if the fiber optic line was to be compromised, cell phones and cellular data will still be accessible for residents. Emergency information on the internet will still be able to be accessed by residents via the City’s website and social media. If in the unlikely event that communications are affected, the City will put out paper updates at City Hall and the Multiplex for residents to access.

We know many folks have been asking for a more specific plan for what will happen in the event of an evacuation. These situations are dynamic and depend on the conditions and risks of a specific situation. The City can advise residents that if it is determined that an evacuation is necessary, residents will be notified of the location of evacuation centres and the safest route to take to those centres.

What can I do?
The City encourages all residents to firesmart their homes, for information on this please visit the City’s or FireSmarting Canada’s websites.

Being prepared is another way residents can ensure they can be ready at a moment’s notice, should the situation change.

Remain calm! Check reliable sources of information to ensure that you are not perpetuating rumours, but are getting fact-based information.

For the most up-to-date information, please visit, and follow the City’s social media pages, as well as NWT Fire’s Facebook page.