N.W.T. fire officials monitoring 65 sq. km large ‘zombie fire’ near Marian Lake
August 8, 2022 By The Canadian Press
YELLOWKNIFE — Authorities in the Northwest Territories are keeping a close eye on a fire on the west side of Marian Lake that flared back up after being dormant underground for a long time.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources says the holdover fire, also known as a “zombie fire,” has grown to about 65 square kilometres and is burning about 38 kilometres southeast of Whati. It is “highly visible” to people in Behchoko and at times in Yellowknife.
It says heavy winds from the south are expected to cause extreme fire behaviour and significant growth, which can result in large amounts of smoke and ash in the Tlicho region, especially in Whati, but no cabins, communities or infrastructure is at risk because of this blaze.
Researchers say zombie fires, which can occur in Arctic, subarctic and northern boreal forests, may become more common because of climate change.
Authorities are also watching a wildfire located about 30 kilometres east of Tulita, which is seeing more activity because of increased winds and is causing significant smoke.
More than 3,800 square kilometres of land has been scorched by 189 wildfires so far this year.